A Canadian woman is suing a food and beverage business after she became so intoxicated that she ended up causing $10 million in harm to a slew of houses.
The 26-year-old woman, Daniella Leis, was driving home after she had been drinking at a Marilyn Manson concert in London, Ontario, in August of 2019. She was reportedly driving the wrong way on a street. She then crashed the car she was driving into a home, which broke a gas line and set off an explosion that ruined four homes and hurt seven individuals. The people who were injured included first responders. Two police officers were harmed, as well as two firefighters. One of the firefighters needed to be in the hospital for over a week before they were able to go home.
The whole neighborhood was evacuated and gas and water utilities were shut down in the region. The harm done to the homes resulted in a cost of between $9.8 million and $14.7 million.
“The financial impact of Ms. Leis’ actions have been enormous, with a total damage estimate approaching $15 million,” Judge George Orsini reportedly told the court.
Following the incident, in 2020, Leis pleaded guilty to four impaired driving counts and received a jail sentence of three years in 2021. However, she and her father, Shawn Leis, put forward a lawsuit this month going after the business that gave her the alcohol.
They sued Ovations Ontario Food Services, stating that the business is also liable for the explosion because workers kicked Leis out of the site while not taking measures to make sure she would not operate a vehicle to get home.
The statement of claim reportedly claimed that the business also didn’t look into her “intended mode of transportation as she existed [sic] Budweiser Gardens when they knew or ought to have known that she was or appealed [sic] to be intoxicated and/or impaired.” It also said that the group did not have appropriate bouncers and did not keep track of how inebriated people were who were departing.
Leis also claimed that the group gave her alcohol while they knew she was inebriated, with the statement saying that the business or their workers gave her the substance “when they knew or ought to have known that she was intoxicated or would become intoxicated.”
Leis said that they prioritized “profit above safety” and the ensuing harm was “caused or contributed to by the negligence, breach of duty, breach of contract” by the business.
It noted that if Leis and her father are made to pay any money, they are “entitled to contribution and indemnity from the defendant (Ovation).”