Lawyer: Driver suing family over fatal crash was texting
Brandon Majewski died after being hit by a car while riding his bike on Oct. 28, 2012. POSTMEDIA NETWORK FILE PHOTO
Grief-stricken parents who are being sued by the woman who struck and killed their son are filled with outrage after their lawyer says new evidence suggests the woman may have been speeding and texting while driving.
About a year ago, the parents of Brandon Majewski, 17, were left in disbelief after they learned that the woman who killed their boy is now suing the family because she was traumatized.
Now, the lawyer for the parents says an accident report from an engineering firm shows the police investigation may have been botched.
It was a moonlit night Oct. 28, 2012 when driver Sharlene Simon, 46, followed by her husband, Jules Simon, a York Regional Police officer, was heading to their Innisfil home after having a couple of drinks at a bar.
Sharlene struck Brandon and his two friends, who were cycling three-abreast on Innisfil Beach Road at around 1:30 a.m.
The trio was headed to the local plaza for a hot dog.
Majewski never knew what hit him.
The impact smashed the front end of Simon’s SUV and the teen was thrown 114 metres.
His best friend, Richard McLean, 16, suffered a broken pelvis and bones.
His other close friend escaped with only minor injuries.
Despite public outrage across the nation, Simon has refused to drop her lawsuit, claiming $1.3 million for her own emotional pain and suffering.
She blames the boys for being “incompetent riders,” according to the lawsuit.
No charges were ever laid against Simon.
But civil lawyer Brian Cameron suggests they should have been.
“The police made several errors in their assessment and we believe that the science will completely back that,” Cameron said. “We now have credible evidence based on science that will show Simon was driving between 103 and 117 km/h at the time of initial impact.”
This claim is in stark contrast to the South Simcoe Police report, which states she was driving 90 km/h in an 80-km/h zone, based on Simon’s own statement. Cameron says the report also shows the boys were wearing reflective clothing.
“There is no doubt that she should have had enough time to slow down,” he said.
The lawyer said he is also in possession of evidence that suggests Simon was texting at the time.
“Our evidence suggests Simon admitted to a friend that she was reading a text from her mother at the time of the impact,” he said.
He notes in her evidence given during the discovery process Simon denied ever making this statement.
“It will be up to the judge or jury to determine whom is telling the truth here,” he said.
Simon’s lawyer has refused to comment. The case is still before the courts.
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While there is nothing illegal about a person suing for mental stress because they drove and killed someone, lawyer Cameron says it’s “twisted” and morally wrong.
“I’ve heard of people suing for damages in a multi-car accident where people are killed — but I’ve never heard of a lawsuit of this nature, where someone kills a kid and claims emotional stress,” said Cameron, who is representing the Majewski family.
“It’s like saying: ‘I’m really upset because I killed a kid so now I’m going to sue the parents and get some money’ ... It’s disturbing.”
While Cameron agrees it would be horrible and traumatic for anyone to hit and kill a child, any costs for emotional trauma and needed counselling would be covered by Simon’s own insurance.
“This is different,” Cameron says. “This is a person who has gone outside of the insurance benefits to hire a private lawyer for no other reason than to line her own pockets ... Just because she has a right to do it, doesn’t make it morally right.”
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For the heart-broken parents, forgiveness and healing does not come easy, especially when the words “I’m sorry” have never been offered.
Sitting in his upscale Innisfil home beside a Christmas tree, Brandon’s father, Derek Majewski, wiped tears from his cheeks as he spoke about the empty void in his life.
“What I need is for someone to say ‘I’m sorry’ ... to show some remorse,” he said. “But instead she turns around and sues us for killing my son.”
He notes toxicology tests show no drugs or alcohol were in the boys’ systems.
“They were good kids,” he said. “They lived for riding their bikes. They were not kids who drank or went to parties.”
“It’s cruel, and it’s too much to bear,” said Brandon’s mother, Venetta, a former college instructor in Brampton. “What she has done will always haunt me ... This has ripped our souls out.”
The parents tried, but failed, to take the South Simcoe Police to task, claiming their investigation was “shoddy” and that charges should have been laid.
Now, with the engineer’s report, they are hoping the civil courts will take a new view of what really happened that night.