Suit: Polo Owner Was Falling Down Drunk Night of Fatal Crash

Flowers mark the site of the crash where Scott Wilson died.
Flowers mark the site of the crash where Scott Wilson died.
Lisa Rab

John Goodman, the multimillionaire owner of the International Polo Club Palm Beach, was so drunk the night of a fatal car crash this February that he "fell down for no apparent reason,"  according to a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court today.

Goodman also fled the scene and made phone calls to friends and lawyers before contacting law enforcement authorities, the suit alleges.

Around 1 a.m. on February 12, Goodman's Bentley blew through a stop sign and collided with a Hyundai driven by 23-year-old Scott Patrick Wilson, according to the initial Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office accident report. The force of the crash, at

the intersection of Lake Worth Road and 120th Avenue South in Wellington, sent Wilson's car into a nearby drainage ditch, where he drowned.

Today's suit was filed by attorneys representing Wilson's parents, Lili and William Wilson. No criminal charges have been filed against Goodman, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is still working on its investigation, according to spokesperson Teri Barbera.

Roy Black, the Miami attorney representing Goodman, could not immediately be reached for comment. A voice message at his law office said the office was closed today due to events in downtown Miami.

On the night of February 11, Goodman was drinking and partying with friends at the Player's Club, a popular bar in Wellington. According to the lawsuit, Goodman was "habitually addicted" to alcohol, and  "upon information and belief... had also been using controlled substances" that night.

It's unclear where this allegation comes from, since no toxicology reports have been released by investigators. But in a Houston divorce filing in 2009, Goodman's ex-wife alleged that he had a history of abusing cocaine.

During the polo season, insiders say the Player's Club is known as a partying mecca, where it's not unheard of for patrons to pass out in the parking lot. But Goodman usually had a driver with him. It's unclear why he was driving himself that night.

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