The Pit gets sued

Dawson City's Snake Pit is being sued. The tavern, housed within the Westminster Hotel, has been accused of overserving alcohol, overcrowding and failing to make sure people do not hurt themselves...

Dawson City’s Snake Pit is being sued.

The tavern, housed within the Westminster Hotel, has been accused of overserving alcohol, overcrowding and failing to make sure people do not hurt themselves or others, especially when in the possession of a motor vehicle.

The claims rise from a car accident on the Klondike Highway on July 24, 2009.

At around 1:10 a.m., Lucinda and Lee Spencer were driving north when a car crossed the centreline and hit them head-on.

The car, a 1994 Buick sedan, belongs to Joseph Binnie. According to the claim, Binnie allowed Lucy Marshall to drive.

The Spencers, who are from the United States, claim Marshall was drunk.

Lucinda, a medical doctor, and Lee, a university professor, are suing Binnie, Marshall, the Pit, the Klondike Visitors Association (in its capacity as Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall), as well as the staff that served Marshall, for damages and costs.

The Collegedale, Tennessee, couple suffered multiple injuries, the court file says, including spine, head and shoulder injuries, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression. Lee, who was driving, has had to undergo surgical fusion with hardware for his vertebrae and both claim to have lost income because of their injuries.

They, and their insurance company, filed their claims in Yukon Supreme Court last week.

Both the owner and manager of the Snake Pit did not return requests for comment before press time.

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