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Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary and his wife sued over a boating accident that left two people dead in Ontario

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Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary and his wife sued over a boating accident that left two people dead in Ontario
Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary and his wife, Linda, are being sued over a boating accident that left two people dead in Ontario, Canada, in August.

Gary Poltash, 64, from Florida, and mother-of-three Suzana Brito, 48, from Ontario, were killed on August 24 when the boat Linda was driving crashed into another vessel during a nighttime outing on Lake Joseph.

In September, Ontario Provincial Police charged Linda with ‘careless operation of a vessel’. She was not drinking or taking drugs at the time, police confirmed.

Prosecutors initially said Linda faced 18-months jail time and a $1million fine, but because the charge against her isn’t a criminal charge, if found guilty, she will be fined and not jailed.

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The O’Learys are estimated to have a net worth of $400million. The couple has been married for 29 years, although they were separated between 2011 and 2013.

After finding out that Linda wouldn’t face time behind bars, Brito’s parents, Rosa and Antonio Ragone, and sister Paula Brito filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the O’Learys.

In a news release, attorney Patrick Brown, of McLeish Orlando LLP, said: ‘For this grieving family, it is about obtaining civil justice so as to prevent these types of deaths and curtailing reckless and dangerous behavior from continuing on our lakes.’

Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary and his wife sued over a boating accident that left two people dead in Ontario

Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary and his wife sued over a boating accident that left two people dead in Ontario

According to the law firm, the family is seeking punitive, exemplary and aggravated damages for wrongful death.

‘Our family has lost a beautiful, loving person. We are devastated,’ Brito’s mother said in the release.

‘We sincerely hope that through this process, that justice is served and that steps are taken so that innocent victims like Suzie, are not seriously injured and killed and that other families do not have to go through such pain and loss,’ Rosa added.

Authorities say Linda was driving at around 17mph when the accident occurred at 11.30pm on August 24.

The driver of the second boat, New York native Richard Ruh, was also charged in the incident for driving without navigation lights.

Poltash and Brito were on Ruh’s boat during the crash along with two others who were injured.

Authorities said Poltash died instantly when Kevin O’Leary’s smaller vessel crashed into theirs and struck him in the head.

Brito suffered severe injuries and died two days later in a hospital.

A source connected to the owner of the larger boat claimed that O’Leary’s boat fled the scene after the collision, but a representative for the Shark Tank fixture said that it was the other boat that left the scene.

O’Leary’s representative went on to say that his wife was administered a DUI test after the accident and passed it.

Kevin released a short statement trying to clear up the matter in the days after the crash.

‘I was a passenger in a boat that had a tragic collision with another craft that had no navigation lights on and then fled the scene of the accident,’ he wrote, shortly after the crash.

‘I am fully cooperating with authorities.’

‘Out of respect for the families who have lost loved ones and to fully support the ongoing investigation, I feel it is inappropriate to make further comments at this time. My thoughts are with all the families affected.’

He returned to TV screens just 72 hours after the crash, with an appearance on CNBC’s Closing Bell.

O’Leary and his wife share a lake house near the site of the accident.

He shared a photo of the area to Instagram in July showing the tree line at the edge of the water.

‘I call this the ‘Wedge’ it’s a natural phenomenon of nature located where our lake house home is situated! Just beautiful!’ he wrote.

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