We all love celebrity stories. Well, here is one celebrity story, which proves beyond any doubt, that drunk drivers WILL be made to pay for their mistakes – for a very, very long time. Actor Lane Garrison was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and felony driving under the influence in connection with a 2006 DUI crash. The horrible crash took the life of 17-year-old Vahagn Setian who was a passenger in Garrison’s car. Now Setian’s parents, Karen Setian and Inaida Nalbandian, are suing Garrison for wrongful death and gross negligence. Our source for this blog was this news report on E! Online.
Garrison was sentenced to 40 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to all charges. The fatal auto accident occurred on December 2, 2006, when, after consuming alcohol at a party, Garrison took Setian and two of his Beverly Hills High School classmates to a store to pick up more alcohol. On their way back, the former “Prison Break” star ran a red light and lost control of his Land Rover. Garrison was apparently going 50 mph in a 25 mph speed zone. His blood alcohol level registered at 0.15 percent after the crash – nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Vahagn died from fatal injuries he suffered during the crash.
Vahagn’s parents are seeking compensation for medical care and treatment, burial and funeral expenses, attorney fees and punitive damages to compensate the couple for the “loss of care, comfort and society of their minor son.” Those words hardly capture the feelings of loss and grief these parents must feel. Michelle Ohana, one of Setian’s classmates who was another passenger suffered injuries in the crash and combined her negligence lawsuit with the Setian-Nalbandian litigation.
Consider what Garrison has gone through. He has undergone substance abuse treatment while in prison. He is facing losing a significant portion of his life’s earnings as a result of these lawsuits. Was getting behind the wheel after drinking worth the risk? It was definitely not worth it for Lane Garrison and it is NEVER worth the risk for anyone to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Remember, in any DUI case, there are no winners.