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Filed

3/5/2020 11:54 AM
Anne Lorentzen
District Clerk
Nueces County, Texas

2020CCV-60348-1
CAUSE NO. _________________

MICHELLE MCCOLLUM, § IN THE COUNTY COURT


INDIVIDUALLY, AS REPRESENTATIVE §
OF THE ESTATE OF ALAN MCCOLLUM, §
DECEASED AND AS NEXT FRIEND OF §
L.M., MINOR CHILD §
§
V. § AT LAW NUMBER ______
§
BRANDON PORTILLO, §
CHRISTOPHER LITKE, §
WALTER THOMPSON, AND §
WONDERS BAR AND GRILL, LLC. § NUECES COUNTY, TEXAS

PLAINTIFFS’ ORIGINAL PETITION


AND REQUEST FOR DISCLOSURES TO DEFENDANTS

COMES NOW MICHELLE MCCOLLUM, INDIVIDUALLY, AS

REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF ALAN MCCOLLUM, DECEASED AND AS

NEXT FRIEND OF L.M., MINOR CHILD, Plaintiffs in the above-styled and numbered

cause, complaining of BRANDON PORTILLO (hereinafter referred to as “Portillo”),

CHRISTOPHER LITKE (hereinafter referred to as “Litke”), WALTER THOMPSON, and

WONDERS BAR AND GRILL, LLC., (hereinafter referred to as “WBG”), Defendants

herein, and for their cause of action would show unto the Court as follows:

I.
DISCOVERY CONTROL PLAN

1.1 Pursuant to Rule 190.1 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiffs

intend to proceed with discovery under Level 3 as set forth in Rule 190.4.

II.
PARTIES

2.1 Plaintiff, Michelle McCollum is a resident of the State of Texas, and is the

surviving spouse of Alan McCollum, Deceased, and the biological mother of L. M., Minor

Child, and brings suit herein in her individual capacity, in her capacity as Representative

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of the Estate of Alan McCollum, Deceased, and as Next Friend of L. M., Minor Child.

2.2 Defendant, Brandon Portillo, is an individual and a resident of the State of

Texas, and may be served with process by serving him at the Nueces County Jail, 901

Leopard Street, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401.

2.3 Defendant, Christopher Litke, is an individual and a resident of the State of

Texas, and may be served with process by serving him at 306 Caribbean Dr., Corpus

Christi, Texas 78418.

2.4 Defendant, Walter Thompson, is an individual and a resident of the State

of Texas, and may be served with process by serving him at his home address: 14006

Ambrosia Street, Apt. A., Corpus Christi, Texas 78418.

2.5 Defendant, Wonders Bar and Grill, LLC, is a limited liability company,

doing business, engaging in business, and transacting business in that State of Texas and

may be served with process by serving its Texas Registered Agent for Service: Dayyan

Wonders, 4733 S. Alameda, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412.

III.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE

3.1 Venue is proper in Nueces County, Texas pursuant to the provisions of

Section 15.002(a)(1) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, in that all or a

substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred in Nueces

County, Texas.

IV.
FACTS

4.1. On January 31, 2020, Officer Alan McCollum initiated a traffic stop of

Christopher Litke who was driving a 2005 Ford F250 pickup truck, owned by Walter

Thompson, and traveling west bound on State Highway 358 at speeds in excess of 100

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mph for excess speed and reckless driving. At the time, Litke was impaired by drugs

and/or alcohol. After reaching speeds of 120 mph, Litke finally came to a stop on the

right shoulder at the 3700 block of State Highway 358 westbound. When Officer

McCollum exited his police vehicle to approach Litke, he was struck suddenly, violently

and without warning by Brandon Portillo driving a 2017 black Chevrolet Silverado

pickup truck and killed. Brandon Portillo was grossly intoxicated when his vehicle struck

and killed Officer McCollum.

4.2 Earlier in the evening of January 31, 2020, Portillo consumed multiple

alcoholic beverages at WBG in Corpus Christi, Texas. The alcoholic beverages provided

to and consumed by Portillo on January 31, 2020 were provided by WBG. While drinking

at WBG, Portillo was very intoxicated and exhibited outward, open and obvious signs of

intoxication. Specifically, Portillo was obviously intoxicated while at WBG to the extent

he presented a clear danger to himself and others. The signs of his intoxication were

actually noticed and observed by managers, bartenders and servers at WBG, and/or by

other employees of WBG, and/or by other bar patrons, or should have been noticed and

observed by all of them.

4.3 Despite Portillo being intoxicated, showing obvious signs thereof, and

presenting a clear danger to himself and others, personnel at WBG, including managers,

vice principals, bartenders and servers at WBG, and/or other employees of WBG,

neglected to cease alcohol sales to Portillo. Just the opposite, WBG continued to provide

alcoholic beverages to Portillo while he was obviously and dangerously intoxicated.

4.4 While obviously intoxicated to the point of posing a clear danger to himself

and others, Portillo left WBG. At the time he left WBG, Portillo had a blood-alcohol

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content that was substantially over Texas’s legal limit of intoxication. Quite clearly,

Portillo was obviously intoxicated when he left WBG. Despite his state of obvious and

dangerous intoxication, Portillo allowed by managers, vice principals, bartenders and

servers at WBG and/or by other employees of WBG, to exit WBG. After leaving WBG in

an obviously intoxicated state, Portillo climbed behind the wheel of his 2017 black

Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.

4.5 After leaving WBG, Portillo travelled from WBG west bound on Highway

358 and as he approached the 3700 block, Portillo collided with 3 Police Vehicles, Litke’s

vehicle and struck Officer McCollum causing him to be thrown over the barrier landing

below on the pavement of the 5000 block of Carroll Lane, causing his death.

4.6 While in the police vehicle, in response to being told he just killed an

Officer, Portillo went to sleep.

V.
WONDERS BAR AND GRILL, LLC

A. DRAM SHOP LIABILITY/NEGLIGENCE

5.1 The allegations set forth in paragraphs 4.1-4.9 above are incorporated

herein by reference.

5.2 Defendant WONDERS BAR AND GRILL, LLC (“WBG”) operates a for-

profit business that serves alcoholic beverages to patrons by virtue of a TABC mixed

beverage permit. Accordingly, WBG has voluntarily submitted itself to the duties and

obligations imposed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code (hereinafter “TEX. ALCO.

BEV. CODE”).

5.3 WBG has two previous TABC violations and five TABC complaints, three

for serving intoxicated customers.

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5.4 Plaintiff brings this suit pursuant to TEX. ALCO. BEV. CODE § 2.02, et seq.

a. WBG was providing, under authority of a license/mixed beverage


permit, alcoholic beverages to Mr. Portillo;

b. At the time it served Mr. Portillo, it was apparent to WBG that he


was obviously intoxicated to the extent he presented a clear danger
to himself and others;

c. The intoxication of Mr. Portillo was a proximate cause of the


occurrence and damages to Plaintiff that form the basis of this suit.

5.5 Inasmuch as Section 106.14(a) of the TEX. ALCO. BEV. CODE is used

defensively by WBG, and without admitting to the propriety of any such defensive use,

Plaintiff will show: a) WBG directly or indirectly encouraged its employees or servers to

violate the TABC’s laws, or other laws relating to the sales, service, dispensing, or

delivery of alcoholic beverages; and/or b) that management or vice principals of WBG

actually provided intoxicating alcoholic beverages to Portillo, thus eliminating any

defense otherwise available under Section 106.14(a). Further, Plaintiff does not

acknowledge that any employees of WBG serving or providing alcohol to Portillo were

required by WBG to attend a TABC-approved seller training program, nor do they

acknowledge that such employees actually attended a TABC-approved seller training

program as required by law. Plaintiff demands strict proof of these elements under Texas

law.

VI.
BRANDON PORTILLO

6.1 At the time and on the occasion in question, Defendant, Portillo, while
operating said vehicle, failed to use ordinary care by various acts and omissions each of
which singularly or in combination with others, was a proximate cause of the occurrence
in question:

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1. in failing to timely apply brakes;

2. in failing to keep a proper lookout;

3. in failing to maintain proper control of his vehicle;

4. in failing to remain and operate his vehicle in its proper lane


of travel;

5. in failing to operate his vehicle in a reasonable and prudent


manner;

6. in driving his vehicle in a careless and heedless fashion on the


roadway as to endanger other persons using the roadway;

7. in driving his vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or


drugs; and

8. in driving his vehicle while his license was suspended and/or


invalid.

6.2 Each and all of the above foregoing acts of omission and/or commission

which collectively and severally constituted negligence, which negligence was a

proximate cause of the injuries to Officer Alan McCollum, the physical pain and mental

anguish he suffered, his death, and of the damages suffered by Plaintiffs.

VII.
CHRISTOPHER LITKE

7.1 At the time and on the occasion in question, Defendant, Litke, while

operating his vehicle on the occasion in question, committed acts of omission and

commission, which collectively and severally constituted negligence, which negligence

was a proximate cause of the injuries to Officer McCollum, the physical pain and mental

anguish he suffered, his death, and of the damages suffered by Plaintiffs. At the time

Litke was operating his vehicle, he also was impaired by drugs and/or alcohol.

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VIII.
WALTER THOMPSON

A. NEGLIGENCE
8.1 Defendant Walter Thompson committed acts of omission and commission

which collectively and severally constituted negligence, which negligence was a

proximate cause of the injuries to Officer McCollum, the physical pain and mental

anguish he suffered, his death, and of the damages suffered by Plaintiffs.

B. NEGLIGENT ENTRUSTMENT

8.2 Defendant Walter Thompson is liable for Plaintiffs’ injuries and damages

under the theory of negligent entrustment. Defendant Walter Thompson was the owner

of the vehicle driven by Christopher Litke at the time of the accident in question.

8.3 Defendant Walter Thompson entrusted the vehicle to Christopher Litke on

the date in question. At the time of the entrustment, Christopher Litke was an

incompetent and/or reckless driver. Defendant Walter Thompson knew or should have

known that Christopher Litke was an incompetent and/or reckless driver. Walter

Thompson was negligent on the occasion in question, which negligence was a proximate

cause of the injuries to Officer McCollum, the physical pain and mental anguish he

suffered, his death, and of the damages suffered by Plaintiffs.

IX.
DAMAGES
9.1 Nearly all of the elements of damages for personal injury and wrongful
death are unliquidated and, therefore, not subject to precise computation. Plaintiffs seek
to recover damages in amounts that the jury finds the evidence supports and that the jury
finds to be appropriate under all of the circumstances, which Plaintiffs now plead as
being well in excess of Ten Million Dollars.

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A. OFFICER ALAN MCCOLLUM SURVIVAL DAMAGES

9.2 As a result of the incident in question, Officer Alan McCollum sustained

excruciating pain, horror, mental anguish, and terror associated with the knowledge of

his impending death and the devastation of leaving his children without a father. Alan

McCollum’s estate is entitled to recover for his mental anguish, physical pain, and

necessary funeral bills and expenses, for which recovery is sought herein in an amount

far in excess of the minimal jurisdictional limits of this Court.

B. WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES OF MICHELLE MCCOLLUM (SURVIVING


SPOUSE)

9.3 Decedent, Officer Alan McCollum, was 46 years of age at the time of his

death. He was in good health with a reasonable life expectancy of many years. During

his lifetime, the decedent was a good, caring husband who gave comfort and

companionship to his family. In all reasonable probability, he would have continued to

do so for the remainder of his natural life.

9.4 As a result of the death of Officer Alan McCollum, his surviving wife,

Michelle McCollum, has suffered damages in the past and in the future, including

pecuniary damages, mental anguish, loss of companionship, loss consortium, loss of

society and loss of inheritance, for which damages are sought in an amount far in excess

of the minimal jurisdictional limits of this Court.

C. WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES OF L.M., MINOR CHILD

9.5 Decedent, Officer Alan McCollum, was 46 years of age at the time of his

death. He was in good health with a reasonable life expectancy of many years. During

his lifetime, the decedent was a good, caring father who gave comfort and

companionship to his family. In all reasonable probability, he would have continued to

do so for the remainder of his natural life.

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9.6 As a result of the death of Officer Alan McCollum, his surviving biological

daughter, L.M., Minor Child, has suffered damages in the past and in the future,

including pecuniary damages, mental anguish, loss of companionship, loss of

consortium, and loss of inheritance, for which damages are sought in an amount far in

excess of the minimal jurisdictional limits of this Court.

X.
REQUESTS FOR DISCLOSURE
10.1 Pursuant to Rule 194 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Defendants are

requested to disclose, within fifty (50) days of service of this request, the information or

material described in Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 194.2(a)-(l).

XI.
PRE-JUDGMENT AND POST-JUDGMENT INTEREST

11.1 Plaintiffs seek pre-judgment and post-judgment interest as allowed by law.

XII.
JURY DEMAND

12.1 Plaintiffs request a trial by jury.

XIII.
PRAYER

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Plaintiffs pray that Defendants be cited

to appear and answer herein, that this cause be set for trial before a jury, that Plaintiffs

recover judgment of and from the Defendants for their actual damages in such amount

as the evidence may show and the jury may determine to be proper, together with pre-

judgment interest, post-judgment interest, costs of suit, and such other and further relief

to which they may show themselves to be justly entitled.

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Respectfully submitted,

By: /s/ David L. Rumley


Mr. David L. Rumley
Texas Bar No. 00791581
drumley@wigrum.com
WIGINGTON RUMLEY DUNN & BLAIR, L.L.P.
123 N. Carrizo Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
Telephone: (361) 885-7500
Facsimile: (361) 885-0487

ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS

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