Chesterton Tribune



Sheri Jania's son files suit in wake of her horrendous death

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Nathan Jania, son of deceased bartender Sheri Jania, filed a complaint suit on Tuesday with the Porter County Courts alleging that his mother’s employer The Shift Change, Inc. of 295 Melton Road in Burns Harbor failed to follow necessary security procedures to protect the public on its premises the day Sheri Jania was dragged to her death beneath a car driven by patron James Lohman III.

The suit also names Loman as a defendant and accuses him of operating his car in a “negligent, reckless, and dangerous manner while intoxicated” in the Shift Change parking area.

In his suit, Nathan Jania says that on Sept. 3, 2011, the Shift Change failed to prevent Lohman from entering the business with minors accompanying him, failed to have adequate security personnel and policies to prevent a disturbance involving Lohman and the minors with him without calling for police, failed to prevent the disturbance from moving outside into the parking area, failed to prevent an “obviously intoxicated person” from entering his driver’s seat “posing a danger to others in the parking area and on the roads of Porter County, including Sheri,” and among other allegations, failure to have security personnel and policies in place to prevent Loman from driving over Sheri Jania and dragging her to her death.

According to the suit, the Shift Change’s “negligent acts and omissions” were the “proximate cause” of Sheri Jania’s death.

Nathan Jania also says in his complaint that the Shift Change violated the Indiana Dram Shop Act for serving patrons after it was evident that they were intoxicated. The suit makes another count that The Shift Change had acted as a public nuisance avoiding laws that govern the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages.

On behalf of the Personal Estate of Sheri Lynn Jania, Nathan Jania is seeking that damages be returned in full amount for punitive damages and for legal costs from both the Shift Change and Lohman.

According to police records, Lohman entered the Shift Change tavern on Sept. 3, 2011, with two friends and all were involved in an altercation. The three of them got into Lohman’s vehicle and attempted to leave the parking area when Sheri Jania got in front of the vehicle in an attempt to prevent Lohman from driving off. Lohman then struck Sheri Jania with his vehicle and dragged her more than a mile before her body was dislodged.

Lohman was sentenced on June 10, 2013 to 20 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections for leaving the scene and for operating while intoxicated-causing death.


Posted 6/21/2013





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