Did Kevin and Linda O'Leary kill two people? Inside the tragic Ontario boat crash and $2 million lawsuit
The couple reportedly appeared to be happy and relaxed while vacationing in Miami, at a time when they are facing a $2 million lawsuit for their boat accident that killed two innocent people
'Shark Tank' star Kevin O’Leary, who is famous by his nickname ‘Mr Wonderful’ was recently spotted by DailyMail enjoying a vacation with his wife Linda O’Leary in Miami, Florida. The couple, who had been in perfect marital bliss for over three decades seemed thrilled and happy on their recent vacation. However, people are wondering how the duo can remain so nonchalant and relaxed at a time when they are facing a $2 million lawsuit for their boat accident that killed two innocent people. It must be mentioned here that the O’Learys’ share an estimated net worth of $400 million.
How did the accident happen?
Kevin and Linda O’Leary own a lake house in Ontario, Canada, where the tragic boat accident took place in 2019.
On the night of August 24, 2019, Linda O’Leary was driving the couple’s luxury boat on Lake Joseph in Ontario. It suddenly collided with another vessel causing a massive accident that left two people dead and critically injured three others.
64-year-old Floria resident Gary Poltash and 48-year-old mother-of-three Susanne Brito from Ontario were killed in the collision. While Poltash died on the spot after O’Leary’s boat crashed into theirs and hit him in the head, Brito succumbed to her injuries in the hospital two days later. Richard Ruh, a New Yorker who was driving the boat during the accident, was charged later for not switching on the navigation lights, leading to the fatal collision.
Linda O’Leary was given clearance by the police for not being under the influence of any drugs or alcohol during the time of the crash. However, documents unearthed by CBS News in Canada stated that an alcohol screening test had later revealed her to have alcohol on her breath. Linda denied drinking before the accident but stated that someone handed her a drink of vodka after the accident but before the breathing test was conducted.
Incidentally, Kevin returned to TV barely 72 hours after the crash. In an interview, he said, “...It's a horrible accident, just that, there's nobody to blame, it's sad that it occurred and my heart goes out to those families and that's what I tell everybody.”
What is the $2 million lawsuit all about?
Linda originally faced the maximum penalty of $1 million Canadian and 18 months imprisonment. However, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada later reconsidered the punishment and charged Linda with ‘careless operation of a vehicle’, which is not a criminal charge. Hence, she evaded jail time and the fine was also reduced to $10,000 Canadian.
In November 2019, a month after Linda’s judgment, victim Susanne Brito’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit worth $2 million against the O’Learys. Brito’s parents and her sister were seeking to obtain civil justice to help prevent such accidental death and reckless behavior from visitors on their lakes, as the family attorney stated.
“We sincerely hope that through this process, that justice is served and that steps are taken so that innocent victims like Suzie, are not seriously injured and killed and that other families do not have to go through such pain and loss,” said Susanne Brito’s mother Rosa Ragone.
Following this, the O’Learys filed a counter-motion in federal court denying their negligence and liability in the tragic crash. In addition, they wish to prevent other claims made against them in courts and also want to limit damages to $1 million under the Marine Liability Act.
Moreover, the couple filed their own lawsuit claiming over $3 million in damages from Irv Edwards and Richard Ruh, the owner and driver of the other boat respectively.
Both men have denied responsibility for the crash as per court documents.
At present, two different law firms are representing the O’Leary’s in the two separate cases – one lawsuit against them and another filed by them.