A New Mexico man convicted of killing two teens in a 2010 drunk driving crash has gone to court to blame a friend and the restaurants that served him booze.
According to the ABQ Journal, James Ruiz, 37, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in New Mexico District Court seeking monetary damages from Applebee’s and the Blue Corn Cafe, as well as from drinking buddy Gilbert Mendoza, for the “loss of liberty and enjoyment of life.”
Mendoza was with Ruiz the night he slammed his truck into the back of a car and killed two sisters — Del Lynn Peshlakai, 19, and her sister Deshauna, 17 — in March 2010.
At the time of the accident, Ruiz, a repeat drunken driver who was out on bond on his fifth DWI arrest, had a blood-alcohol concentration at of 0.22 percent, nearly three times the legal limit for driving in the state of New Mexico.
At his sentencing in 2011, Ruiz broken down, saying he hated himself for causing the accident and admitted he would happily give his own life in exchange for the lives of the two girls.
Here’s an older video on James Ruiz’ deadly Sante Fe crash:
In his lawsuit, however, Ruiz says that as a result of “causing and perceiving the motor vehicle crash and its effects upon everybody involved,” he has suffered and continues to suffer emotional distress.
The suit goes on to say that The negligence of Mendoza — who allegedly gave Ruiz the keys to the truck that Ruiz was driving during the crash — and the restaurants who served him booze “was a cause and/or contributing cause of the Plaintiff’s severe emotional distress.”
He’s serving a 40-year prison sentence.