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Suit claims bar served man too much, impaired his ability

A man who lost sight in his left eye after a fight at the Den of Antiquity Tavern is suing the St. Petersburg bar for serving him too much alcohol. Daniel F. Hassett had been drinking at the bar from early morning until late Aug. 13, 1987, when he was attacked and injured by another patron, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court.

Hassett's blood-alcohol level was at least 0.522 just before midnight that night, the lawsuit said. The state presumes anyone with a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 or higher to be impaired.

The lawsuit claims bartenders at the Den of Antiquity Tavern should have known they had served Hassett so much alcohol that his ability to act in his own behalf was impaired. They also should have known, the suit said, that the man who fought Hassett was dangerous and should not have been allowed in.

Hassett had been frequenting the Den of Antiquity at least five days a week, drinking in eight-hour stints, for several months before the fight, the lawsuit said.

A spokesman for the bar could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.