Scott Gragson

Scott Gragson (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department) 

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A man injured in a crash that killed a Las Vegas mother of three is suing the man accused of causing it, court records show.

Christopher Bentley, 50, and a team of six attorneys filed the negligence lawsuit on Tuesday against Scott Gragson and a company in Gragson's name, Gragson Data SS, LLC.

Bentley asked for a jury trial against Gragson for any triable offenses and asked for general, special, compensatory and punitive damages.

The crash killed Melissa Newton, 36, and injured two others. Gragson was arrested the same night and faces three counts of felony DUI resulting in death or substantial bodily harm and three counts of felony reckless driving resulting in death or substantial bodily harm.

Gragson had a blood alcohol level that was close to twice the legal limit, according to the District Attorney's office.

About 4:48 p.m. on May 30, the grandson of former Las Vegas mayor Oran K. Gragson was returning home to his Summerlin community, The Ridges, following a charity golf event earlier in the day, according to an arrest report.

The 2019 "Links for Life" golf tournament was held at the Bear's Best golf course, the lawsuit claimed. Alcohol was served at numerous locations throughout the tournament, include the clubhouse, the course restaurant, numerous kiosks and at each hole of the golf course.

Gragson had consumed numerous drinks during the event. According to the lawsuit, Gragson "willfully consumed these numerous alcoholic beverages knowing that he would later operate his motor vehicle."

Gragson had four passengers in his Range Rover SVR when he approached the community's security. A witness told police Gragson became belligerent with the security guard when she refused to let vehicles behind him enter without checking in to the gated community. Gragson said he was having an after party and the guard should let vehicles pass.

After being denied, Gragson sped through the open security gate and headed south on Granite Ridge. He failed to maintain control of the vehicle inside the community, collided with some trees before ultimately crashed, police said.

The three passengers in the backseat of Gragson's vehicle were ejected. One victim, Newton, died of multiple blunt-force injuries. Bentley claimed in his lawsuit that he was also ejected from the vehicle.

Following the crash, police said Gragson attempted to check on his passengers.

The other passengers, identified by Las Vegas police in a release, sustained minor to serious injuries. Greg Tassi, 44, Bentley and Kristie Cobbett, 46, were all transported to UMC Trauma for medical care.

In the lawsuit, Bentley suffered "severe, agonizing, internal and external personal injuries, severe shock to his nervous system, as well as great pain and suffering."

According to the police report, Gragson failed multiple field sobriety tests, had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and admitted to having 4-5 drinks over the course of the day.

Bentley's team of attorneys includes J. Randall Jones, Will Kemp, Mona Kaveh, Will Lemkul, Christopher Turtzo and Derek Noack. 

His next court date for the charges he faces in the crash is set for October. 

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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(1) comment


What an arrogant jackass. He gets belligerent with a security officer for doing her job, then proceeds to maim/kill his passengers when he doesn't get his way for his "after-party." I'm pretty sure his neighbors are much better off with Gragson locked away.

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