Twenty-year-old Barrie resident Mallorie Wild, who was struck by a drunk driver then cyberbullied by others over her injuries, has filed an $11.2-million lawsuit claiming damages against the drunk driver and the bar that allegedly over-served him.
Wild and McLeish Orlando lawyer John McLeish appeared at a press conference Wednesday to discuss details of the lawsuit and the harmful effects of cyberbullying.
Wild was left with severe injuries that almost resulted in the amputation of her right leg after the crash. She has undergone extended hospitalization, 17 surgeries, and intensive rehabilitation.
In the months following the hit-and-run, Wild was targeted on social media for her anti-drunk driving posts. In one instance, a Twitter user mocked the appearance of Wild’s disfigured leg, referring to it as a “lamb chop,” and called her “irrelevant.”
“After this happened, Mallorie was speaking out against drunk driving and some of the comments she got were disgusting,” said McLeish. “There is legislation in Nova Scotia called the Cyber-safety Act, which makes consequences for people who cyberbully, but there’s no such legislation in Ontario other than for people in schools under the Education Act.”
Wild said the comments left her in shock.
“It was awful,” she said.
Wild broke down in tears while describing the events of Aug. 11, 2014, when she was struck while walking on Penetang Street around 2:30 a.m.
The driver, Eric Bravener, struck her from behind, and she was dragged for some distance and then catapulted under a parked car. The statement of claim alleges Bravener fled the scene while Wild lay gravely injured on the road.
“I don’t remember the whole thing, but there’s a lot that I do remember and it haunts me,” said Wild.
Bravener was later criminally charged and convicted. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 15.
McLeish said his client has “tried very, very hard to put this behind her and get her life back.”
Wild has enrolled at Georgian College this fall, where – inspired by McLeish and his team – she will study to become a law clerk. She also plans to continue speaking out against drunk driving and cyberbullying.
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