The family of a woman killed in a tragic boating accident on Ontario's Lake Joseph over the summer has accused Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary of driving his boat impaired. The allegations, along with several others, were made in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents and sister of 48-year-old victim Susanne Brito and obtained by TMZ.
The documents – which list O'Leary, his wife Linda O'Leary, and Richard Ruh, the driver of the vessel on which Brito was a passenger – allege that both O'Leary and his wife were driving their vessel on the night of Aug. 24, though it fails to note who was behind the wheel at the time of the collision.
The suit also claims that both O'Leary and his wife were "incapable of safely operating their boat because their judgment was impaired by alcohol, drugs or fatigue" and that while they both suffered from poor vision and were prescribed glasses, they failed to wear them that night. According to the suit, the couple were texting and driving as well.
The family's lawsuit goes on to claim that the couple's boat was "deficient," as it lacked several safety features, including a proper horn, and was not in good condition.
As was previously reported, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) had found in their investigation that the vessel was being driven at an unsafe speed of 17 miles per hour, resulting in a single charge of careless operation of a vessel against Linda, and the family's lawsuit states that the couple should have checked the other for driving too fast, as they "both had a propensity for driving too fast."
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.
The family is seeking $1 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages, as the O'Leary's "behaved with arrogance, high-handedness and have shown a callous disregard and complete lack of care."0comments
In a statement from the family, they wrote that they "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."
Neither O'Leary nor his wife have commented on the suit.