Producers of David Spade‘s new show “Lights Out” are facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by parents who claim they allowed an accountant for the Comedy Central show to drunkenly get behind the wheel and kill their son.
The staffer, Jacob Gralitzer, was allegedly “inebriated” when he crashed his 2018 Infinity Q60S into an Acura in Los Angeles’ Fairfax District on Aug. 1, according to the lawsuit obtained by Deadline. The impact sent the Acura flying onto the sidewalk and slamming into Noah Benardout, who later died.
Gralitzer was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and driving while under the influence in the 10:30 p.m. collision — an accident Benardout’s parents, Marc and Marie, say was completely avoidable.
They accuse Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, production company Free 90 Media and others of allowing Gralitzer to “get even more intoxicated” before leaving the premiere party for Spade’s new show.
“Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege Defendants Viacom, Free 90, and DOES 1-10 knew that Gralitzer was going to drive his car home from the party but did nothing to stop it,” the parents’ suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court said.
The parents believe Viacom is to blame because it provided a valet service, encouraging employees to drive to and from the shindig.
They also claim they know of “at least one person” at the party who told Gralitzer he shouldn’t drive home because he was so drunk.
The lawsuit also lists Gralitzer and Lawrence Goldsmith, the driver of the Acura, as defendants. It does not list Spade.
Benardout, 24, died from major blunt force trauma to his head, the filing said.
Gralitzer no longer works for Spade’s talk show, which first aired in late July on Comedy Central. He faces four to 10 years behind bars and a $10,000 fine, if convicted.
Reps for Viacom and Free 90 didn’t immediately return messages. Neither Gralitzer nor Goldsmith could be reached.