Jason Russo, a decorated war hero from his military service in Iraq, was tragically killed when his motorcycle was hit by Okevin Moradian on County Road 419, near Chuluota, in Seminole County, Florida. Mr. Russo was riding his motorcycle home from his job as a state corrections officer at the Central Florida Reception Center off of State Road 528.
According to State Troopers, Mr. Moradian suddenly attempted to complete a turn right in front of Mr. Russo’s motorcycle. Troopers believed that Mr. Moradian was drunk at the scene, but he refused to submit to a sobriety test. It appears that Mr. Moradian has some experience and expertise in dealing with roadside sobriety tests. Public records indicate that this is Moradian’s third drunk driving arrest overall, and his second in less than one year.
Our hearts go out to the Russo family. It is difficult to understand how a multiple offender like Mr. Moradian should be allowed to continue driving. More needs to be done to keep people like Mr. Moradian off of the roads.
From a civil justice perspective, drunk driving potentially exposes the drunk driver to punitive damages. These are damages over-and-above the compensatory damages designed to make the injured party, or his family in the case of a wrongful death, whole. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer and to discourage anyone else from committing the same wrong.