A driver hit three teens on bikes one rainy night in Toronto, killing one of the boys and severely injuring two others. To add insult to injury, the driver is suing the families of the three victims.
Sharlene Simon, 42, says that the accident caused her emotional trauma. She’s suing the three teens involved, as well as the parents and brother of the dead teen, for $1.35 million.
“They did not apply their brakes properly,” said Simon in her lawsuit. “They were incompetent bicyclists.”
In the early hours of Oct. 28, 2012, Brandon Majewski, 17, and his 16-year-old friends Richard McLean and Jake Roberts were riding their bikes home after grabbing a bite to eat. Riding abreast on a two-lane rural road in Innisfil, Ontario, the trio were struck from behind by a black Kia Sorrento driven by Sharlene Simon, News.com.au reported.
Majewski died from his injuries, and his 23-year-old brother committed suicide six months later. The family is devastated.
“They’re kids,” says grieving dad, Mr. Majewski. “And they have a right to make mistakes … it was a wet, dark road—what about slowing down?”
“This has ripped our family apart,” Majewski said. “And now this woman has the gall to try to profit from our dead child she killed? Profit from another boy who was almost crippled?”
The family’s attorney, Brian Cameron, said the suit was necessary to recover money that insurance companies would have already paid out. But Simon’s lawsuit has delayed those payments.
“It’s all about getting compensation for the death of their son,” said Cameron. “This would have all been covered by their insurance.”
Cameron said Simon likely would have received an insurance payment for her counseling too if she had not filed the $1.35 million lawsuit.
Simon’s attorney, Michael Ellis, said his client was forced to file the suit to protect herself financially. He said the amount asked for in the suit covers money lost from missing work and the cost of therapy.
“She would have lost everything,” Ellis said. “She would have been destitute … homeless.”
Cameron disputes that and says Canadian law protects people from losing their homes and personal assets in such situations.
“This is a routine matter that would have been settled long ago,” he said. “But now, with her lawsuit, a relatively uncomplicated insurance process has become much more complicated … this is just prolonging the family’s pain.”