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Tampa’s Thee Dollhouse sued for allowing drunk dancer drive to death

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A Tampa strip club dancer, plied with free drinks before leaving work, died last year after her car hit a tree.

Now her estate is suing both the club and its valet service for letting her drive to her death.

Cindy Marleny Montes was a 23-year-old dancer at Thee Dollhouse strip club at 1010 N. Westshore Blvd. In Tampa.

On Jan. 16, 2016, Montes left work, taking her keys from Shamrock Valet, and drove off.

Soon after, Montes — a 2011 graduate of Madera South High School in California and attending Hillsborough Community College pursuing a liberal arts degree — crashed into a tree.

Ejected from the vehicle, Montes died four days later from her injuries.

A lawsuit filed April 27 in Hillsborough County Circuit Court by Erik Montes, a relative bringing action for Montes’ estate – argues that Cindy was very drunk at the time of the crash after customers and/or staff of Thee Dollhouse gave her several free drinks beforehand. The suit alleges it was a customary practice at the strip club.

At the time of her crash, Montes’s blood alcohol level was purportedly at least 0.23 percent – nearly three times Florida’s legal limit.

Shamrock Valet (which provides valet services to club employees) and O.C. Food & Beverage (which allegedly owns and/or manages Thee Dollhouse) are named as co-defendants responsible for Cindy’s death. They are also accused of “negligently failing to educate, train, and/or supervise employees as to how to handle intoxicated persons.”

Nevertheless, the suit is not entirely clear who, in fact, owns Thee Dollhouse.

Erik Montes’ complaint suggests that owners of the strip club are co-defendant O.C. Food & Beverage – managed by St. Petersburg millionaire William Hunter Bullard, Dunedin resident Harold R.E. Johnson, and Orlando resident Randy Beasley.

However, earlier legal action has named JBM Management of Tampa as the owner. JBM’s president is also William Hunter Bullard.

William Hart is president of Shamrock Valet.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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