How sad and tragic that Amanda Jax died from alcohol poisoning last October while celebrating her 21st birthday with friends at a Mankato MN bar. I’ve sympathy and compassion for Amanda’s mother, Jenny Haag, because I’ve two college age daughters. Now I read that Jenny Haag is suing the bar owner along with the friends who bought the drinks that Amanda consumed. I’m not a lawyer and perhaps don’t understand the issues related to liability. Still, it’s readily apparent from a 2/29/08 Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper story that Amanda Jax had an obvious drinking problem that had been going on for a long time. One of the defendants, Hannah Becker, 21, is quoted as saying that Amanda “used to drink all the time”. Another defendant, Kathryn Lensing, 21, told police that she had seen Amanda drunk about 100 times in the past year. Per this same article, relatives of Amanda thought, “Jax had her life under control”. In addition, Amanda’s mother is quoted as saying, “I’m not going to say that she (Amanda) didn’t drink, but it wasn’t the hundreds of times that they said.”
I can’t help but think that this lawsuit is a poor attempt to suppress the lack of personal responsibility that Amanda Jax exercised and maybe even some guilt that Jenny Haag feels from overlooking obvious alcoholic tendencies in her daughter’s more formative years. I personally don’t see how this lawsuit will prevent others intent on binge drinking from suffering a similar fate. Rather, this lawsuit has the appearance of greedy lawyers coaxing a distraught mother to make things “better” with a large lump sum of cash.