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Drunk driver may face wrongful death lawsuit

A man accused of driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of a deadly car crash on Bloor Street in Toronto is now facing charges. Ontario authorities have filed six charges, including DUI causing death. The families of the deceased victims are in a good position to file wrongful death lawsuits against the driver apart from the criminal charges he already faces. 

The accident report shows that the 23-year-old man lost control of his vehicle at the corner of Bloor and Parliament, causing it to leave the road and strike a light pole shortly before 10 p.m. on the night of Nov. 28. The force of the impact injured all three passengers in the vehicle, though the driver was left unscathed. The individual in the rear passenger seat was later pronounced dead of his injuries. 

The other two passengers, both women, were seriously hurt. One woman remains in critical condition while the other escaped with less serious injuries. It is unclear whether the driver is in police custody at this time, and so far no court date has been publicly announced. 

Separate from the criminal charges the man now faces, the family of the deceased man and the surviving injured parties are all entitled under Ontario law to file wrongful death and/or personal injury suits against him in civil court. While a criminal conviction is not required for these suits to be successful, use of police evidence to back up the claims in a court of law is beneficial. This evidence can be made available to the family's legal representation as part of court proceedings. 

Source: Toronto Sun, "Man charged with drunk driving in deadly Bloor St. crash", Chris Doucette, Nov. 29, 2016

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