A Canadian woman who hit three teenage boys – killing one and seriously injuring another – is now suing the deceased child, his family, and the two other teenagers she struck for more than $1 million.
In October 2012, 17-year-old Brandon Majewski was out with his friends Richard McLean and Jake Roberts, both 16, when they decided to hop on their bikes and go out for a hot dog. On their way, Sharlene Simon, 42, struck all three of the boys with her SUV. Majewski was severely injured, and died just two hours later.
Majewski’s father, Derek Majewski, acknowledged to the Toronto Sun that the boys shouldn’t have been out so late – it was past 1 a.m. at the time of the collision – but said they are “good kids” and should not have been hit by the vehicle. Now that the woman behind the vehicle is suing his dead son for emotional issues, anxiety, and trauma, he was not shy about expressing his anger.
“I feel like someone kicked me in the stomach — I’m over the edge,” the dead boy’s father, Derek Majewski, said to the Toronto Sun. “Sometimes, it makes my blood boil.”
The family’s attorney, Brian Cameron, expressed similar shock over receiving news of the lawsuit.
"In my 14 years of doing this, I've unfortunately represented far too many people who have lost children being hit by motorists, (and) I've never seen this," Cameron told Toronto’s CTV News Channel. "I've never even heard of this … I was shocked when I got the claim."
According to the lawsuit, Simon pins the blame for the accident on the teenagers themselves, with the suit stating, “They did not apply their brakes properly. They were incompetent bicyclists.”
Simon’s lawyer, Michael Ellis, argued his client has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to the incident and suffers from headaches, anxiety, depression, and emotional discomfort. Simon is suing seeking $1.3 million in damages for her “great pain and suffering.”
"She relives the terror of this incident every day. Ms. Simon has been unable to return to work since the collision. She has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She is also a victim," Ellis said, according to CTV News.
As noted by the Sun, however, the police report describing the incident shows that Simon admitted to speeding when the accident occurred. She was driving 90 km/hr in an 80 km/hr zone, and said she did not see the teenagers or the orange-red reflectors on their bikes.
Simon was being followed in a separate car by her husband, a York Regional police officer, and did not undergo a breathalyzer test, since police did not believe she was driving under the influence. Simon’s husband drove her home after the accident and no charges were filed.
The family, however, claims Simon may have been drinking and possibly on the phone when she struck the teenagers, in addition to speeding. The family had previously filed a suit seeking $900,000 in damages related to “emotional trauma and shock.”
“I’m devastated, I’m in shock,” Brandon’s mother, Venetta Mylnczyk, said to the Sun. “She killed my child and now she wants to profit from it? She says she’s in pain? Tell her to look inside my head and she will see pain, she will see panic, she will see nightmares.”