Fam­ily sues drunk driver and Stone Church restau­rant

Mark Daw­son was se­ri­ously hurt when his van was hit at traf­fic light. An $18M law­suit has been launched by him, his wife and daugh­ter

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - CARMELA FRAGOMENI cfragomeni@thes­pec.com 905-526-3392 | @Car­matTheSpec

A Hamil­ton man se­ri­ously in­jured by drunk driver David Megna has launched an $18-mil­lion law­suit against him and The Hon­est Lawyer restau­rant on Stone Church Road East.

In the law­suit, Mark Daw­son is seek­ing $9 mil­lion for suf­fer­ing en­dured be­cause of the crash.

His wife, Teresa, is pur­su­ing $2 mil­lion and his daugh­ter, Jenna, is ask­ing for $7 mil­lion.

Daw­son suf­fered se­ri­ous in­juries when his van was hit while stopped at a traf­fic light on Paramount Drive on Sept. 4, 2015. The car that hit him was a 2002 BMW driven by Megna, who was then 26.

Megna, who was also badly hurt in the crash, is serv­ing a four-year sen­tence after plead­ing guilty in crim­i­nal court last Septem­ber to im­paired driv­ing caus­ing death and im­paired driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm.

His pas­sen­ger, Tyler Tor­res, 22, was killed in the crash.

The Daw­sons’ state­ment of claim says Mark has dis­fig­ure­ment, trau­matic brain in­jury, anx­i­ety, ma­jor de­pres­sion, post-trau­matic stress and cog­ni­tive prob­lems such as loss of at­ten­tion, mem­ory and con­cen­tra­tion.

The list in­cludes rib frac­tures, im­paired vi­sion, ver­tigo and neck, knee and back in­juries as well as a num­ber of lac­er­a­tions and abra­sions to lig­a­ments, mus­cles and nerves. The in­juries “will per­ma­nently im­pair his en­joy­ment of life and his abil­ity to earn a liv­ing,” the claim states.

He has also suf­fered loss of in­come and em­ploy­a­bil­ity, and has in­curred med­i­cal, hos­pi­tal, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and other health ex­penses, it says.

David Megna’s fam­ily de­clined to com­ment.

The claim al­leges Megna was neg­li­gent by driv­ing reck­lessly and speed­ing while im­paired.

Dur­ing Megna’s sen­tenc­ing last Oc­to­ber, court heard Megna and Tor­res had been drink­ing at The Hon­est Lawyer on Stone Church that day, be­gin­ning around 11 a.m.

At 3 p.m., they left in Megna’s car, head­ing east on Stone Church.

Where the street turns into Paramount Drive, Megna lost con­trol of the wheel and his car mounted the curb be­fore slamming into Daw­son’s van stopped at the lights.

The BMW flipped and landed on its pas­sen­ger side.

The Daw­sons’ claim also al­leges The Hon­est Lawyer on Stone Church Road East was neg­li­gent by con­tin­u­ing to serve Megna drinks when staff knew or ought to have known he was drunk enough to be a dan­ger to him­self and others.

The Hon­est Lawyer has filed a state­ment of de­fence deny­ing the al­le­ga­tions.

“My client does deny li­a­bil­ity for the ac­ci­dent and in­tends to vig­or­ously de­fend it,” lawyer Chet Wy­drzyn­ski told The Spec­ta­tor.

Nei­ther he nor his client would com­ment fur­ther.

In a state­ment of de­fence, how­ever, The Hon­est Lawyer de­nies the al­le­ga­tions and de­nies the Daw­sons sus­tained the in­juries and losses “as al­leged.”

It coun­ters that Mark Daw­son was neg­li­gent in that he “failed to take rea­son­able care to avoid an ac­ci­dent” and “failed to ex­er­cise due care and skill in the man­age­ment of his mo­tor ve­hi­cle.”

It also says the da­m­ages claimed by the Daw­sons are “ex­ag­ger­ated, ex­ces­sive and re­mote.”

The Daw­sons’ claim also states daugh­ter Jenna Daw­son wit­nessed the crash, which caused her per­ma­nent dis­fig­ure­ment, ner­vous shock and post trau­matic stress among other prob­lems that will di­min­ish her en­joy­ment of life and “her abil­ity to achieve scholas­ti­cally and earn a liv­ing.”

She has also in­curred a num­ber of health-care ex­penses, in­clud­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, the claim adds.

Daw­son’s wife, Teresa, is seek­ing da­m­ages for loss of care, guid­ance and com­pan­ion­ship as well as loss of house­hold in­come.

They de­clined to com­ment on the law­suit.

None of the al­le­ga­tions made in the state­ment of claim or de­fence have been tested in court.

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