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April 15, 2011

Family Sues Massachusetts Lawyer in Drunk Driving Death of South Hadley Man


The parents of Frederick S. Kareta, III, have filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts Superior Court against against Craig A. Barton, a Springfield lawyer, who has been charged with several counts of Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges for allegedly striking and killing Kareta.

Attorney Craig A. Barton has been charged in Hampshire Superior Court on several DUI / OUI Charges, including Manslaughter While Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol, Motor Vehicle Homicide, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, 2nd Subsequent Offense, and Reckless Driving.

Frederick S. Kareta, III, was struck and killed on August 28th when Attorney Craig A. Barton allegedly swerved onto the property of the home at 75-80 miles per hour. The SUV that Barton was allegedly driving then swerved back to the street after striking Kareta, hit a sign, and then crashed into another car head-on.

According to the civil suit, the family of Federick S. Kareta also named the Orchards Golf Course in South Hadley, as well as the parent company, Orchards LLC, as defendants, alleging that the bar at the golf course was negligent in continuing to serve drinks to Barton despite that he was obviously intoxicated.

The Massachusetts DUI Crime of Manslaughter While Operating A Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol is a relatively new OUI crime, which was passed by the Massachusetts State Legislature via "Melanie's Law" in 2005. This drunk driving law punished the act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs where the crime of Manslaughter results (in other words, the unintentionally killing of another caused from wanton or reckless conduct creating a high likelihood that substantial harm will result to another).

The punishment for the OUI Crime of Manslaughter While Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol is a 5 year minimum-mandatory state prison sentence, with a maximum of 20 years, as well as a minimum 15 years to life and possible lifetime loss of the person's Massachusetts Driver's License.

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