O’Learys sued by crash victim’s family

Suit alleges impairment due to alcohol and drugs.
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O'Learys

Kevin O’Leary, of Shark Tank fame, and his wife Linda are being sued for wrongful death by the family of a woman who died in a boating crash on Lake Joseph in Canada last summer.

Susanne Brito, 48, of Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada, and Gary Poltash, 64, of Belleair Beach, Fla., were killed when two boats collided on near Emerald Island on Lake Joseph in Seguin Township, Ont., around 11:30 p.m. on August 24.

The O’Learys own a home on the lake and one of the boats involved in the crash. Linda O’Leary was at the wheel at the time of the accident. She was charged with careless operation of a vessel and fined $10,000. She did not serve jail time.

On Wednesday, the parents of Brito, Rosa and Antonio Ragone, and her sister, Paula Brito, announced that they are suing the O’Learys. In a statement, the family alleged the O’Learys “failed to keep a proper lookout” and “drove at too high of a rate of speed for that time of night.” The statement alleged that their “faculties of observation, perception, judgment and self-control were impaired due to alcohol and drugs.”

The Britos are also suing New York men Richard Ruh and Irv Edwards. Ruh, 57, was operating the other boat in the accident and was charged with failing to exhibit navigation lights in connection with the crash. Edwards owns the boat that Ruh was driving.

Patrick Brown of the McLeish Orlando LLP law firm is representing the claimants. They are seeking $2 million for wrongful death as well as punitive, exemplary and aggravated damages.

Brown released a statement on behalf of the family, saying it is “devastated” by the crash.

In September, Brian Greenspan, Linda O’Leary’s lawyer, called the accident “tragic” and “traumatic.”

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