In a case the Ottawa Citizen called “astonishing evidence of the raw appeal of… victimhood,” a woman who struck and killed a teenage boy riding his bike outside of Toronto is suing the boy’s family for $1.35 million.
The driver, Sharlene Simon, is seeking compensation for the “great pain and suffering” she has sustained since killing 17-year-old Brandon Majewski with her SUV, as well as “a severe shock to her system” and lessening of “her enjoyment of life,” her lawyers wrote in the suit, filed in an Ontario court.
Simon struck Majewski and his two 16-year-old friends in October 2012, killing Majewski and badly injuring another boy. The three were riding home from a coffee shop on a Saturday night on rural Innisfil Beach Road, about 50 miles north of Toronto.
“I think it’s very cruel,” said Brandon’s father, Derek Majewski, of the lawsuit. Derek said Brandon’s death was devastating for his family. Brandon’s grief-stricken brother, Devon, died six months later after consuming a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs.
No charges were filed against Simon, after local police concluded that limited visibility was the main cause of the collision, and that the boys had only “minimal reflectors” and were wearing dark-colored clothes. The fact that the boys weren’t wearing helmets and were riding abreast were also cited by police officers in their report, despite being wholly legal.
The victims’ families are suing Simon and Simcoe County, where the crash occurred, for $900,000. The suit alleges Simon was “speeding, under the influence or texting” at the time of the crash and that her husband, a police officer in nearby York, should have prevented her from driving. The Majewski family has also charged that the investigation by local police was biased against the boys.
As for Simon’s countersuit, Lloyd Alter at Treehugger wrote that it “may just be a smart legal tactic.”
“Or,” he added, “it might just be totally disgusting.”