The family of a woman who lost her life in a tragic boating accident on Ontario’s Lake Joseph over the summer is suing Kevin O’Leary and his wife Linda O’Leary for wrongful death for their involvement in the crash. The Toronto Sun reports that Rosa and Antonio Ragone and Paula Brito, the parents and sister of 48-year-old victim Susanne Brito, filed a lawsuit against the couple seeking punitive, exemplary, and aggravated damages for wrongful death.
Patrick Brown of law firm, McLeish Orlando LLP is representing the family and said in a news release that the lawsuit is “about obtaining civil justice.”
“For this grieving family, it is about obtaining civil justice so as to prevent these types of deaths and curtailing reckless and dangerous behaviour from continuing on our lakes,” Brown said.
“Our family has lost a beautiful, loving person. We are devastated,” a statement from Rosa reads. “We sincerely hope that through this process, that justice is served and that steps are taken so that innocent victims like Suzie, are not seriously injured and killed and that other families do not have to go through such pain and loss.”
Also being sued is Richard Ruh, the driver of the vessel on which Susanne was a passenger when O’Leary’s smaller boat crashed into the larger vessel during the late evening of Aug. 24. The crash also resulted in the death of 64-year-old Gary Poltash, of Florida, who died at the scene. Susanne passed away at the hospital, leaving behind three children.
A month after the fatal collision occurred, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officially charged both Linda and Ruh for their involvement in the crash. Ruh was charged with failure to exhibit a navigation light, while Linda was charged with careless operation of a vessel, authorities stating that she was driving at an unsafe speed of 17 miles per hour at the time of the collision.
Neither Ruh nor Linda face the possibility for jail time with the charges, despite initial reports suggesting that Linda faced a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Linda instead faces only a maximum fine of $10,000.
Although neither O’Leary nor his wife have yet addressed the most recent development in the case, the Shark Tank star called the accident “horrible” earlier this month when breaking his silence on his wife’s charges.0comments
“It's a horrible accident – just that – there's nobody to blame…it's sad that it occurred," he said. "My heart goes out to those families, and that's what I tell everybody."
Linda’s case is next set to be heard on Thursday, Nov. 21.