The front of a van struck by a BMW car on Paramount resulting in a fatality.

John Rennison, The Hamilton Spectator
The front of a van struck by a BMW car on Paramount resulting in a fatality. 9/4/15

A Hamilton man seriously injured by drunk driver David Megna has launched an $18-million lawsuit against him and The Honest Lawyer restaurant on Stone Church Road East.

In the lawsuit, Mark Dawson is seeking $9 million for the suffering endured because of the crash.

His wife, Teresa, is pursuing $2 million and his daughter, Jenna, is asking for $7 million.

Dawson suffered serious injuries when his van was hit while stopped at a traffic light on Paramount Drive on Sept. 4, 2015. The car that hit him was a 2002 BMW driven by Megna, who was then 26.

Megna is serving a four-year sentence after pleading guilty in criminal court last September to impaired driving causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm.

His passenger, Tyler Torres, 22, was killed in the crash.

The Dawsons’ statement of claim says Mark has disfigurement, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, major depression, post-traumatic stress and cognitive problems such as loss of attention, memory and concentration.

The list includes rib fractures, impaired vision, vertigo and neck, knee and back injuries as well as a number of lacerations and abrasions to ligaments, muscles and nerves.

The injuries “will permanently impair his enjoyment of life and his ability to earn a living,” the claim states.

He has also suffered loss of income and employability, and has incurred medical, hospital, rehabilitation, pharmaceutical and other health expenses, it says.

David Megna’s family could not be reached for comment.

The claim alleges Megna was negligent by driving recklessly and speeding while impaired.

During Megna’s sentencing last October, court heard Megna and Torres had been drinking at The Honest Lawyer on Stone Church that day, beginning around 11 a.m.

At 3 p.m., they left in Megna’s car, heading east on Stone Church. Where the street turns into Paramount Drive, Megna lost control of the wheel and his car mounted the curb before slamming into Dawson’s van stopped at the lights. The BMW flipped and landed on its passenger side.

The Dawsons’ claim also alleges The Honest Lawyer on Stone Church Road East was negligent by continuing to serve Megna drinks when staff knew or ought to have known he was drunk enough to be a danger to himself and others.

The Honest Lawyer has filed a statement of defence denying the allegations.

“My client does deny liability for the accident and intends to vigorously defend it,” lawyer Chet Wydrzynski told The Spectator.

Neither he nor his client would comment further.

In a statement of defence, however, The Honest Lawyer denies the allegations and denies the Dawsons sustained the injuries and losses “as alleged.”

It counters that Mark Dawson was negligent in that he “failed to take reasonable care to avoid an accident” and “failed to exercise due care and skill in the management of his motor vehicle.”

It also says the damages claimed by the Dawsons are “exaggerated, excessive and remote.”

The Dawsons’ claim also states daughter Jenna Dawson witnessed the crash, which caused her permanent disfigurement, nervous shock and post traumatic stress among other problems that will diminish her enjoyment of life and “her ability to achieve scholastically and earn a living.”

She has also incurred a number of health-care expenses, including rehabilitation, the claim adds.

Dawson’s wife, Teresa, is seeking damages for loss of care, guidance and companionship as well as loss of household income.

They declined to comment on the lawsuit.

None of the allegations made in the statement of claim or defence have been tested in court.

Source: The Hamilton Spectator