Marco Muzzo sued by Neville-Lake family for $25M after crash that killed 4 in Ontario
Marco Muzzo, the drunk driver who killed three children and their grandfather in Vaughan, Ont. last September, is being sued by the relatives of the victims for more than $25 million.
The Neville-Lake family filed a lawsuit in April against Muzzo and his family’s drywall business, Marel Contractors, alleging they were responsible for the deaths of nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, his five-year-old brother Harrison, their two-year-old sister Milly and the children’s 65-year-old grandfather Gary Neville.
The children’s grandmother Neriza Neville and great-grandmother Josefina Frias were also in the minivan and survived the crash, but suffered serious injuries.
The 29-year-old drove his speeding SUV through a stop sign and into the family’s van in Vaughan, Ont. in 2015 “with tremendous force and fatal consequences,” court documents alleged.
“He drove in a reckless manner without having any regard for the safety of members of the public,” the statement of claim read, adding Muzzo “created a situation of danger and emergency.”
“He could and should have seen the Neville-Lake vehicle in front of him and avoided the accident but he failed to do so.”
The family alleges in the lawsuit that Muzzo “behaved with high-handedness and with disdain for the rights of the plaintiffs.”
“Muzzo was driving home from the airport after having exited a private plane following a bachelor party in Miami,” the document read, adding the vehicle was speeding anywhere from 85 km/h to 196 km/h at the time of the collision and he had a blood alcohol content two to three times the legal limit.
“Muzzo consumed numerous alcoholic drinks on the plane and/or after disembarking from the plane.”
The document stated Muzzo also showed numerous signs of impairment by alcohol at the scene, including “unsteadiness on his feet, glassy eyes, losing his balance, urinating on himself and smelling of alcohol.”
It further states the defendant “was conscious of the probable consequences of his carelessness and was indifferent or worse, to the danger of injury or death to the occupants of the Neville-Lake vehicle.”
The statement of claim also said the fatal collision has had a “profound significant and catastrophic irreversible impact upon the lives and well being of all of the plaintiffs” and their “ability to earn a livelihood has been and remains extremely impaired.”
Muzzo was sentenced earlier this year to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in April, is being brought by Neriza Neville, as well as the children’s parents, Edward Lake and Jennifer Neville-Lake, their uncle Jonathan Neville and aunt Josephine Neville.
Neriza Neville is suing for $5.25 million, Jennifer Neville-Lake $7.5 million, Edward Lake $7 million, Jonathan Neville $2.75 million and Josephine Neville $2.75 million — for a total of $25.25 million in damages.
The Muzzo family’s wealth is estimated to be $1.8 billion, according to Canadian Business magazine.
Steven Stieber, lawyer for Muzzo and Marel Contractors, told the Toronto Star that a statement of defence will be filed shortly “accepting responsibility and not casting blame or fault on anyone else.”
In a packed courtroom in February, Muzzo apologized for his actions and called it “inexcusable.” He also said he is “tortured by the grief and pain” he had caused for the Neville-Lake family.
The children’s mother left the room as Muzzo took the stand and later told reporters his apology was rejected by her family.
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