Rocker David Crosby agrees to $3 million settlement
June 20, 2016
By KAREN VELIE
David Crosby agreed to pay a $3 million settlement following the April filing of a suit that alleged the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame singer was intoxicated when he crashed into a jogger last year, according to court records.
On March 22, 2015, Jose Luquin and his 14-year-old son were jogging on Baseline Avenue in Santa Ynez when they heard a car approaching. The father then fell behind his son to give the vehicle room to pass, according to a CHP report.
However, shortly before 6 p.m., Crosby’s 2015 black Tesla struck Luquin tossing the jogger in front of his son.
Responders airlifted Luquin to a local hospital with serious injuries including a broken leg, a broken arm, a broken shoulder, broken ribs and a damaged kidney. The collision cracked Crosby’s windshield, broke his right side mirror, dented the right rear door, cracked the front bumper and dented the right front fender, the report says.
Crosby told CHP officers he had not been drinking and that he had been blinded by the sun. Crosby said he wasn’t aware of the joggers until he felt an impact on the right side of his Tesla.
The officers determined Crosby was driving at an unsafe speed considering the lack of visibility, though at 55 mph, Crosby was driving at the speed limit. In addition, officers noted that Luquin was jogging with traffic on the side of the road which contributed to the accident.
Officers took Crosby for his word and did not perform alcohol or drug testing.
“Officer at the scene determined alcohol was not a factor and there was no further investigation into alcohol or drug use,” said California Highway Patrol spokesman J. Ortega.
Nevertheless, according to the suit filed by San Luis Obispo based attorney James McKiernan, plaintiffs were “informed and believed” Crosby was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
“As a direct and proximate result of defendant’s compromised and debilitated physical and mental condition due to ingesting alcohol and/or prescription drugs and/or non-prescription drugs and/or other intoxicants and or hallucinogens, the defendant maliciously and oppressively operated his motor vehicle in a fashion that caused injury to the plaintiffs,” according to an expedited minor’s compromise.
McKiernan declined to comment on the case.
Crosby’s settlement includes an agreement to pay $2,950,000 to Luquin and $50,000 to his son, according to court records.
Crosby, 74, is a founding member of legendary rock groups The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Crosby has a long history of drug and alcohol abuse.
In 1985, Crosby was arrested after driving into a fence in Marin County and then fleeing the scene. An officer searched his car and found cocaine and a .45-caliber pistol. Crosby was charged with DUI, hit-and-run, possession of a concealed weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In 1994, a controversy ensued when Phil Collins paid for Crosby to receive a liver transplant needed after a long bout with hepatitis C. Critics questioned if Crosby’s celebrity status pushed him to the top of the recipient list despite his drug and alcohol issues.
In 2004, Crosby forgot his suitcase in a hotel room. A maid opened the suitcase to search for identification and found marijuana and .45-caliber pistol. When Crosby returned to get his bag, he was arrested for criminal possession of a weapon and possession of marijuana.
Luquin’s attorney, McKiernan, has been involved in a number of scandalous celebrity cases over his career including a sexual harassment case with Mel Gibson, Paris Hilton’s sex tape case, John Derek’s automobile crash while in a liaison, and a case in which Michael Jackson wanted the critical care unit of Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria to himself after falling ill during his trial. Jackson’s request resulted in hospital staff taking a 75-year-old woman off life support and performing hand pumping while the hospital found a new room for her.