Updated: Sep 17, 2020
Navid Sepehri was a 17-year-old Iranian boy that lived in Maryland. His friends described him as an always-smiling, kind-hearted kid. He was a gifted athlete earning a brown belt in karate, in addition to playing soccer and lacrosse at school. He was an Honors student and served as a teacher’s assistant for Walt Whitman High science teacher Sherri Gingrich for both his junior and senior years of high school.
On December 10, 2017, Navid's father found his body in a ravine. Navid's coat had a half-empty bottle of Blue Raspberry Svedka Vodka inside of it and he heavily smelled of alcohol. The night before, Navid and his friends had purchased alcohol from Burka’s Fine Wines & Liquors before getting drunk and heading to a party. After the parents at the party found out kids were drinking, they ended the party and sent the kids home. Navid and his friends were forced to leave, so they hung out before they parted ways. Navid was so intoxicated, he fell into a nearby ravine and started drowning. His official cause of death was announced as intense alcohol intoxication complicated by drowning and hypothermia (death from the cold). Burka’s Fine Wines & Liquors was known in Navid's school as a place kids could easily use fake IDs and buy alcohol.
Navid Sepehri's parents filed an action against Burka’s Fine Wines & Liquors and its owners in the United States District Court for Maryland for causing the wrongful death of their son.