One of the most frustrating things for a family after they’ve lost someone to a drunk driving crash must be the quest for justice. If the person who’s killed a loved one is officially charged with impaired driving and they head to trail or sentencing, all you can do is wait to hear what the judge or jury has decided. Despite an increase in lengthy jail times and ignition interlocks to keep them from driving drunk again, there’s no penalty harsh enough to bring ease the burden of losing someone to such a senseless act.
That’s why it’s not surprising that impaired driving lawsuits are starting to happen more frequently in Canada. Although the country is not known to be as litigious a society as other countries, there’s a slowly building acceptance that if someone makes the choice to drink and drive, they should be held liable both judicially and financially.
Take the Neville-Lake crash in Ontario. After convicted drunk driver Marco Muzzo crashed into and killed three children and their grandfather, the children’s mother is now seeking more than $25 million in damages from Muzzo and his family’s company Marel Contactors.
The case states that both Marco Muzzo and the company were negligent and caused the deaths as well as the injuries of the other two passengers. The company owned the vehicle he was driving, and according to the lawsuit, Muzzo “was conscious of the probable consequences of his carelessness and was indifferent or worse to the danger of injury or death to the occupants of the Neville-Lake vehicle.”
There’s been no defense filed in the case as of yet, but given the nature of the crash and the fact that Muzzo wasn’t wearing his contact lenses at the time of the crash, was speeding, and was so drunk he couldn’t even stand after, it’s going to be difficult to argue against it.
What this lawsuit won’t do is bring back Jennifer Neville-Lake and Edward Lake’s children and her father. What it should do is make people even more aware that drunk driving is a choice. No one but Marco Muzzo put the keys in the ignition of his vehicle and choose to drive in that condition, and now it’s up to another judge to decide how he’ll pay, again, for choosing to drink and drive.