Katherine Mabel "Emily" Jones: Dead Teen's Family Sues Rick's Cabaret Over DWI Crash

The survivors of an 18-year-old woman who was killed when a drunk driver allegedly smashed into her doing 130 mph have sued Rick's Cabaret, saying the strip club employs dancers through a policy that encourages them to overserve customers.

Katherine Mabel Jones, 18, known to her friends as Emily, a senior at Conroe's Caney Creek High School, was killed in March 2011 when she was hit by Erasmo Ramirez, says a spokesperson for the Lanier Law Firm, which is representing Jones's survivors.

"Less than 30 minutes before the crash, Mr. Ramirez was thrown out of Rick's Cabaret after running out of money and refusing to pay for more drinks," the law firm said. "Investigators determined his blood alcohol content was 0.295, more than three times the legal limit in Texas."

The firm says Ramirez was charged with intoxication manslaughter and later was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The firm blames Rick's policies:

"Rick's Cabaret requires its entertainers to pay a nightly 'house charge' in order to work at the club. The lawsuit says workers are encouraged to pay the nightly fee by accumulating "credits" based on the number of drinks they sell, a policy that encourages over-serving the club's patrons, including intoxicated customers such as Mr. Ramirez," the firm said.

A spokesman for Rick's told Hair Balls they had not been served with any suit and would not have any comment on the case.

"Emily will never be able to realize the beautiful life she had ahead of her because a strip club wanted to make more money regardless of the dangers," Houston attoney Mark Lanier said in a statement. "We're determined that those responsible for taking this young woman's life will be held accountable."

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly