Woman Who Got so Drunk at Concert That She Blew up a Home, Causing $15 Million in Damages, Is Now Suing the Concert Venue
Boozy concert turns Into calamity.
There are regretful alcohol-fueled mornings-after, and then there are regretful alcohol-fueled mornings-after that involve blowing up a house and causing $15 million in damages. Daniella Leis, a 26-year-old resident of Ontario, Canada, is trying to sleep off the latter. And as part of her convalescence, she's suing a concert venue for serving her too much alcohol and ejecting her from the venue without trying to prevent her from driving home. Read on to find out the rationale behind the lawsuit and what social media commenters are saying about the case.
The CBC reports that Leis was driving home from a Marilyn Manson concert at the Budweiser Gardens arena in London, Ontario, in August 2019 when she crashed into a house, breaking a gas line and causing an explosion. The resulting inferno destroyed four houses.
The entire neighborhood was evacuated, and gas and water service were shut off in the area. The explosion ultimately caused between $10 million to $15 million in damages. Leis admitted guilt but now argues there were extenuating circumstances.
According to reports, after the concert, an intoxicated Leis drove the wrong way down a residential street before slamming into a brick house. The impact severed the house's gas line. When first responders pulled Leis from the car, they detected the gas leak and evacuated the neighborhood. Fifteen minutes after the crash, the house exploded, setting other houses on fire and throwing debris more than 600 feet away. Luckily, no one was killed, but seven people were injured.
In 2021, Leis pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving and was sentenced to three years in prison and three years of having her driver's license suspended. This week, she and her father, Shawn Leis (who owned the car she was driving), sued Ovations Ontario Food Services, the food-and-beverage company that served her alcohol.
In the lawsuit, the Leises claim the company should share responsibility for the explosion because it ejected Daniella Leis from the venue without determining that she wouldn't be getting behind the wheel. The suit also alleges Daniella was served alcohol by people who knew she was drunk. The Leises say they are facing six lawsuits over the incident.
According to the CBC, the lawsuit alleges that:
Ovations of Ontario or their employees served alcohol to Daniella Leis "when they knew or ought to have known that she was intoxicated or would become intoxicated."
The company didn't install properly trained bouncers at the exits, who could monitor those who were leaving for intoxication.
The company didn't determine Daniella's "intended mode of transportation as she exited Budweiser Gardens when they knew or ought to have known that she was or appealed to be intoxicated and/or impaired."
The company's staff ejected Leis from the venue while failing to take steps to ensure she would not drive home.
After Daniella Leis's conviction in 2021, commenters on Reddit's board weighed in. "3 year driving suspension AS IF she's ever going to be able to afford to drive again," said one Redditor. "I believe there's around $1.5M in lawsuits against her presently," wrote another. "As far as I'm concerned, drunk drivers should never be allowed to hold a license to drive again," wrote another. "It's such a stupid, selfish thing to do and while she didn't kill anyone this time, she very easily could have… Don't drink and drive, people. You're not a child and your actions have potentially deadly consequences."