BRADENTON — A highly publicized accident that brought widespread sadness in Manatee is being revisited in the form of a lawsuit filed this morning by one of the victims and his mother against an Albertsons grocery store.
Orlando attorney Woody Igou filed a civil suit on behalf of Monica and Ryan Costello.
Ryan Costello has been in a wheelchair since the April 8, 2006, crash, in which the Florida Highway Patrol says his friend, Zane Zavadil, 19, drove off Anna Maria Bridge. FHP troopers ruled both Costello, 19, and Zavadil, who died in the crash, had been drinking before the accident.
Igou said several witnesses have provided sworn testimony saying Costello and Zavadil bought alcohol from the Albertsons grocery store at 7415 Manatee Ave. W., on the day of the accident.
The lawsuit alleges an ongoing pattern of sales to minors at the Albertsons, including to Costello and Zavadil on the day of the crash. Igou said during his investigation, witnesses have testified to buying alcohol more than 200 times from the store while underage.
Igou argued in his lawsuit that Albertsons engaged in “grossly negligent conduct that contributed to the injuries and loses to plaintiffs and others.”
The lawsuit was filed against Supervalu Inc., a Minnesota-based company described as the owner of the Manatee Avenue store. However, a Supervalu spokeswoman said the company does not own Albertsons stores in Florida. She said the store is owned by Albertsons LLC.