When a loved one is lost in a tragic car accident, many families seek answers about why the accident happened. In cases involving a drunk driver, families may sue for wrongful death. In one case, a California family is suing the workplace of the driver in question, stating the employer could have prevented the accident.
The accident, which occurred in 2012, involved a 31-year-old-man and a 55-year-old woman. According to reports, the 31-year-old man died after his vehicle was struck by the vehicle driven by the women. The woman is currently serving a prison term of 55 years to life for her role in the man's death.
According to reports, the woman was drunk at the time of the accident. She was also a substance abuse counselor who said she was on her way home from work at the time of the accident. Reportedly, the treatment center where the woman worked denied that she was working that day.
Witnesses allegedly report that the woman demonstrated signs of drug or alcohol abuse prior to the accident, including sometimes at the workplace. According to witnesses, the woman occasionally dozed off while in treatment sessions with patients at the facility.
According to the plaintiffs' attorney, the facility reportedly tested clients for drug or alcohol use, but did not test staff members. The plaintiffs are alleging that the facility could have prevented the accident by offering treatment to the woman or letting her go from employment had they paid more attention to her condition.
The facility, in the meantime, reports that the accident occurred long after the facility was closed for the day. A spokesperson also noted that time sheets didn't indicate the woman was working that day.
Families who lose loved ones in such incidents have a right to seek answers and compensation from any entity that could be at fault. Because some burden of proof rests on the plaintiff in such cases, understanding legal options for pursuing a case may help with the final outcome.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Suit filed against Torrance rehab center in fatal drunk driving case" Ruben Vives, Nov. 20, 2014