Woman convicted in Woodman Ave. explosion sues food and beverage company | CBC News
CBC News · Posted: Jan 16, 2023 1:17 PM EST | Last Updated: January 16 Daniella Lies is suing a company that provides food and beverage service at Budweiser Gardens, alleging they share some responsibility for the 2019 crash that destroyed four homes on Woodman Avenue. (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)
The woman convicted of impaired driving in a 2019 crash that led to a massive explosion in an east London neighbourhood is suing a company that provides food and beverage service at Budweiser Gardens.
In a statement of claim, Daniella Leis, 26, alleges the Ovations Ontario Food Services company shares some of the liability for civil lawsuits filed by victims of the blast against Leis and her father Shawn Leis over the explosion. The statement of claim says Leis and her father are facing six lawsuits over the blast.
Leis, who is from Waterloo, pleaded guilty in October 2020 to four counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm for the crash that set off the Woodman Avenue explosion on Aug. 14, 2019. She was given a three-year prison sentence in February 2021.
The court heard that Leis had been driving home from a Marilyn Manson concert that night at Budweiser Gardens and drove the wrong way on Queen's Avenue before slamming into a house at 450 Woodman Ave., severing the brick house's gas line.
The explosion on Woodman Avenue destroyed four houses and left seven people injured. Two firefighters suffered life-altering injuries as a result of the explosion. (Supplied by Const. Rebecca Elliott)
First responders pulled Leis from the car and cleared the area after detecting the leak. Fifteen minutes after the crash, the house exploded, setting other houses on fire and throwing debris almost 200 metres away.
No one died, but the blast destroyed four houses and left seven people injured.
According to her statement of claim Leis and her father, who owned the car she was driving, allege that Ovations had a responsibility to do more to ensure her safety that night. The company was not available for comment on Monday.
The statement of claim, which includes allegations that have not been proven in court, alleges:
- That Ovations or their employees served alcohol to Leis "when they knew or ought to have known that she was intoxicated or would become intoxicated."
- That the company failed to provide properly trained bouncers at the exits and monitor the state of intoxication for those leaving the venue.
- That the company failed to check on her "intended mode of transportation as she existed Budweiser Gardens when they knew or ought to have known that she was or appealed to be intoxicated and/or impaired."
- The Ovation staff ejected Leis from the venue while failing to take steps to ensure she would not drive home.
The claim says if Leis and her father are required to pay any amount, then they are "entitled to contribution and indemnity from the defendant (Ovation)."