The family of the Uxbridge woman who died after a midnight boat crash in Muskoka is suing Linda and Kevin O’Leary, as well as two others, for $ 2 million in a wrongful-death lawsuit.
Susanne Brito, a 48-year-old mother of three, was one of two people killed when two boats collided off the shore of Emerald Island on Lake Joseph on Aug. 24.
Her family, in a statement of claim dated Nov. 1 and filed in Oshawa court, said that Brito was a passenger on the O’Learys’ boat and that the O’Learys’ “negligence” and other factors led to her death.
None of the allegations in the claim have been proved in court.
The family is seeking $ 1 million in damages and $ 1 million in punitive, exemplary and aggravated damages. The other two defendants in the lawsuit are the second boat’s driver (Richard Ruh) and owner (Irv Edwards).
“Suddenly and without warning, the O’Leary power boat violently struck the Ruh power boat, causing Susanne Brito to suffer serious personal injuries, resulting in her death,” according to the claim.
Brito died from her injuries two days after the crash. Gary Poltash, a 64-year-old Florida man who was on Ruh’s boat, also died.
Brito’s family alleges that Linda O’Leary “drove at too high a rate of speed for the circumstances” and that she didn’t have proper training among other claims.
The lawsuit makes similar claims against Kevin O’Leary and accuses him of “negligently entrusting his boat to Linda O’Leary” and “failing to take any preventative measures” to counter what they allege was his wife’s “propensity for driving the boat at excessive speeds.”
Kevin O’Leary, a star on the ABC show “Shark Tank,” ran for the leadership of the federal Conservatives in 2017 before dropping out.
Nancy Cheung, Kevin O’Leary’s publicist, did not immediately respond to the Star’s request for comment.
In the statement of claim, Ruh allegedly failed to keep a proper lookout “to make full appraisal of the situation and risk of being struck by another boat.”
“He failed to turn on the navigation lights on the Ruh power boat,” the claim alleges.
The OPP have charged Ruh with failing to exhibit navigation lights under the Canada Shipping Act.
Last month, Linda O’Leary was charged by the OPP for “careless operation of a vessel.” Her lawyer Brian Greenspan previously told The Canadian Press that she was driving at a “reasonable speed.” His client broke her foot in the collision, he said.
Greenspan told the Star on Wednesday that he’s not “involved or engaged” in the civil suit, and that it would be “inappropriate” for him to comment on it.
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Rosa Ragone, Brito’s mother, said in a statement that her family “has lost a beautiful, loving person.”
“We are devastated,” Ragone said. “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.”