LAWSUIT FILED AFTER DRUNKEN DRIVING CRASH ON ROUTE 22 LEFT ONE MAN DEAD

Robert Kritzar, facing a battery of criminal charges for drunkenly killing a man, is now being sued by the family of the man he killed. On May 28, 2014, Kritzar was working as a mover for We-Haul Moving, transporting the belongings of a woman from Brooklyn across Route 22 through New Jersey to the Lehigh Valley. Before beginning his drive, the woman whose belongings he was moving spoke with him on the phone, and later reported to the police that he had told her he was running a couple hours late, and sounded giddy and had cursed during the phone call. Nathan Warke, the man Kritzar ultimately killed, was driving in his jeep in front of Kritzar and behind a tractor trailer driven by Frederick Ackerman. When traffic got heavy, Ackerman suddenly applied his brakes, as did Warke. Kritzar, due to his high level of intoxication, delayed applying his brakes, and slammed into Warke's jeep, crushing it against Ackerman's tractor-trailer. Warke was pronounced dead at the scene. Kritzar's blood alcohol level was found to be .22 at the time of the crash, nearly three times the legal limit of .08. Kritzar has a history of drunken driving, having pleaded guilty and given six months of probation in 2012 for the offense. 

The private lawsuit recently filed against Kritzar for Warke's wrongful death also names We-Haul Moving and the company's owners. While it seems clear that Kritzar is responsible for the harm that befell Warke, it's likely that he does not have substantial assets or earning capacity to pay an eventual judgment. It is more likely that any eventual winnings for the Warke family would result from a claim of "respondeat superior" against Kritzar's employer. Generally, when an employee is carrying out acts that are part of his job responsibilities, authorized by his employer, with the goal of completing his job duties, then the employer can be held responsible for harm caused by the employee. Additionally, the Warke's attorneys may try to show that We-Haul failed to uphold their duty to responsibly hire employees, since the company hired an individual with a history of drunken driving to do a job that consists largely of driving long distances. The company was aware that Kritzar was capable of harming others in this way, and so it could be argued that they knew they should not have employed him for that job.

Kritzar, arrested in North Carolina in September and extradited to Pennsylvania where he was held without bail, faces charges for vehicular homicide while driving under the influence of alcohol, homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, and other smaller traffic offenses.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, ensure that you're compensated fully for your loss and ensuing expenses. Contact the experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Smith & Doran for a consultation on your New Jersey personal injury claim at 973-292-0016.

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