A Canadian woman is continuing to pursue a lawsuit against the families of three teenage boys that she hit while driving her SUV on a rainy October night in 2012.
The Toronto Sun reports Sharlene Simon, 42, was driving home from a bar the night of October 28 when she ran into a group of three teenage boys who were riding their bicycles.
Simon claimed she had only had one drink at the bar with her husband, Jules Simon, a York Regional Police officer who was following her home in his own vehicle.
Richard Esch, who was 16 at the time, suffered a shattered pelvis in the accident and is still undergoing rehabilitation for his injuries.
Esch’s friend, 17-year-old Brandon Majewski, was killed by the impact.
A third friend was thrown from his bike but suffered only minor injuries.
A toxicology report indicated the teens had no drugs or alcohol in their systems.
The suit was first reported in April. A USA Today story at that time said police who arrived at the scene did not suspect alcohol was a factor in the crash and Simon was not given a breathalyzer test or charged with any crime.
Simon is suing the families of all three victims saying she has suffered emotional trauma as the result of the accident.
“They did not apply their brakes properly,” her lawsuit states. “They were incompetent bicyclists.”
She is asking for about $1.35 million in damages. Her husband has also filed a suit.
Esch’s father, Terry Esch, said he finds the legal action hard to believe.
“If this woman was a real person, with a real heart, she would not have done this to us … we have nothing,” Terry Esch said, explaining that he and his wife have both lost income from taking time away from work to help their son with his rehabilitation.
Majewski’s father, who was not named in the USA Today story, said his son’s death took an unbelievable toll on his family. Six months after the accident, he said, his 23-year-old son was found dead of an overdose that he said was the result of grief, not a suicide.
“This has ripped our family apart,” said Majewski's dad. “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?”
Majewski’s family has filed a separate suit asking that Simon pay for burial costs, loss of work pay and trauma counseling.
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.”