Putnam County Wrongful Death Suit Filed

Robert Donohue, a Southeast resident whose wife and 8 year old daughter were killed by a drunk driver back on June 8, 2009, has filed a Putnam County wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of the vehicle and the property owner where the accident happened. The facts are that on June 8, 2009, Lori Donohue and her daughter Kayla were outside of Kayla’s dance class at the Seven Stars School of Performing Arts in Brewster, when illegal immigrant Conses Garcia-Zacarias, who was driving while intoxicated, struck the two and killed them.

Garcia-Zacarias, illegally in the United States from Guatemala, was employed by horse trainer Valarie Renihan, a Westchester County resident, and was apparently living with several other undocumented workers employed by Renihan in a Southeast house leased by Renihan. Renihan is being sued on the basis that she permitted Garcia-Zacarias to operate her Ford F-350 pick up truck despite the fact that she knew or should have known that he was an unlicensed, illegal immigrant. Mr. Donohue is also suing Jan and Mindy Stark, the owners of the property where the accident occurred, on the theory that they knew that the dance school was close to a very busy road and had there been barricades between the parking lot and the roadway, the accident could have been prevented.

Shortly after the accident, the Town of Brewster installed concrete barriers to protect visitors as they walked to and from the dance school. Further, the Starks added columns to provide for a sheltered walkway. The allegations in the lawsuit are that the Starks should have taken these safety measures prior to the accident and were aware of the dangerous proximity of the dance school parking lot to the roadway. However, it would appear that this will be a much more difficult allegation to prove than the claims as to Mr. Garcia-Zacarias, who clearly should not have been permitted to operate a motor vehicle without a license and who was operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of almost twice the legal limit at the time of the accident.

Garcia-Zacarias pled guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide in November of 2009 and is serving a jail term of 8 1/3 to 25 years in the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. When he completes his jail sentence, Garcia-Zacarias will likely be deported to Guatemala.

If you or a loved one suffer serious injuries in a car accident, motorcycle or truck accident, or are injured by a defective product, contact the Westchester County Personal Injury Lawyersright at The Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel online or toll free at 888-761-7633 for a free consultation with an experienced trial lawyer to discuss your case in detail and your legal rights.