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Jordan Parsons’ family files wrongful death suit

Jordan Parsons’ family files wrongful death suit


by Daphne Duret – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

The family of mixed martial arts fighter Jordan Parsons has filed a wrongful death suit against the man accused of killing him in a May hit-and-run crash.

According to a lawsuit filed late Friday, Parsons’ mother, Anna Morsaw, is suing driver Dennis Wright, his mother, Patricia Fuller and the Buddha Sky Bar, the Delray Beach bar where Wright allegedly drank before causing the crash.

Jordan Parsons death

Flowers mark the spot at Lindell Boulevard and Federal Highway where MMA fighter Jordan Parsons, 25, was hit and killed by a silver Range Rover on May 1. Parsons died from his injuries a few days later. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

In the 19-page lawsuit, attorney Matthew Schwencke said Wright had a long history of driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving recklessly and driving while his license was suspended.

Schwencke said because of this, and because Wright’s license was still suspended on April 30, Fuller should not have allowed him to drive the 2013 Range Rover Sport registered to her.

Bartenders at the Buddha Sky Bar on that night, according to the complaint, violated a Florida Statute by “knowingly serving, selling and/or furnishing alcoholic beverages to the defendant, Dennis Wright, a person habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages, to the point where he was intoxicated and to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired.”

Parsons was crossing an intersection near Lindell Boulevard and U.S. 1 on May 1 when he was struck by a vehicle, which prosecutors say Wright was driving.

Parsons had moved to Boca Raton to train with the Blackzilians team at JACO Hybrid Training Center in Boca Raton, a half-mile from where he was killed. A featherweight, he was 11-2 as a professional mixed martial artist and was preparing for a fight at Bellator 154 scheduled for just days after he was hit and killed.

He was taken to Delray Medical Center, where he died of his injuries May 4.

Nearly three pages of the lawsuit details Wright’s prior run-ins with the law, including a September 2008 DUI arrest for which he served 12 months’ probation, two subsequent probation violations, a July 2010 arrest in Leon County for disorderly intoxication, a citation for reckless driving in Boca Raton a year later and a couple more local arrests for driving on a suspended license that landed him in jail.

There was also, the suit alleges, a February 2012 incident at a Tallahassee bar, where police had to be called to remove Wright and he allegedly cursed and made racial slurs toward the arresting officer before attacking him. Wright was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a year of probation, but later served 90 days in jail on a probation violation.

Morsaw, according to the lawsuit, is seeking damages on behalf of herself and Parsons’ father, David Parsons.

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Eric Kowal

Eric Kowal

Owner/Editor/Journalist at MyMMANews
Founder of MyMMANews.com - After writing for Ultimate MMA magazine and serving as the editor for U.S. Combat Sports, both of which went on hiatus, I decided to venture out on my own and enlist a staff of writers and photographers that could help me achieve my goal of telling stories that would otherwise go untold. We pride ourselves in taking a deeper look into the fighter, and understanding what makes them click. - #1 Dad, Marine Corps Veteran, 80's and 90's Pro Wrestling Fan, MMA Commentator, Beer Lover, and avid movie watcher. Seriously..... I watch a lot of movies.