Marco Muzzo argues for reduction in $25M lawsuit for drunk-driving case that killed 4
Statement of defence filed this week admits liability for crash killing 3 Neville-Lake children, grandfather
Lawyers for Marco Muzzo, the man who killed three children and their grandfather in a drunk-driving crash, are pushing back against a $25-million claim by the victims' family.
Defendants Marco Muzzo and his family's drywall company, Ayrfield Holdings Ltd., operating as Marel Contractors, admitted liability for the Sept. 25, 2015, collision in a statement of defence filed this week.
But the statement did not agree with the damages requested.
"The plaintiffs' damages, if any, should be reduced by the amount of any collateral benefits they received or are entitled to," in light of in Muzzo's criminal conviction and 10-year prison sentence.
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It was a warm and sunny afternoon when the three Neville-Lake children — Daniel, 9, Harry, 5, and Milly, 2 — were struck and killed in the crash along with their grandfather, Gary Neville, 65.
Two other extended family members, the children's grandmother and great-grandmother, were injured in the crash.
Muzzo had just returned home from his bachelor party in Miami; he was found to have a blood-alcohol level of at least two times the legal limit.
The SUV Muzzo was driving hit 85 km/h when he went through a stop sign, striking the minivan with the Neville-Lakes and hitting the driver's side, according to an agreed statement of facts read during the man's criminal trial.
Muzzo had been drunk, speeding and driving without corrective lenses on the afternoon of the crash in Vaughan, creating a situation of danger that left a "profound catastrophic irreversible impact on their lives," the Neville-Lakes said in the September 2016 statement of claim they filed.
The statement further alleged Muzzo was driving his family's company vehicle at the time of the crash.
None of the allegations in the claim have been proven in civil court.
While Muzzo's defence statement admits liability in the crash itself, it does not admit to any of the particulars of negligence outlined in the Neville-Lake family's statement of claim.
Exactly what damages the Neville-Lake family suffered should be determined by a trial, the statement of defence said.
Muzzo, 29, pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm during his criminal trial in February 2016. He was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison and will be subject to a 12-year driving ban once he's released.
Muzzo had never before been convicted of a criminal offence, according to the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.
According to Canadian Business magazine, Marel Contractors is worth nearly $1.8 billion.