Alcoholics Anonymous and Sponsors Sued For the Wrongful Death of Karla Brada

AA and sponors being sued for the wrongful death of Karla Brada at the hands of long time AA member Eric Allen Earle. 

Parents of murdered Saugus woman sue AA

Lawsuit claims 12-step program did not adequately warn of danger

By Jim Holt October 27th 2014

Parents of murder victim Karla Brada are suing the Santa Clarita Valley office of Alcoholics Anonymous and the couple allegedly assigned to serve as AA sponsors to both Brada and her killer, The Signal has learned.

A wrongful death civil suit filed by Sylmar residents Hector and Jaroslava Mendez was served on named AA sponsors Patrick and Joanne Fry, on the local AA office in Santa Clarita and on Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc., based in New York City, local attorney Tom Noland said. NA Daytona Meetings in Holly Hill Florida.

“This lawsuit is to help other people,” Brada’s mother, Jaroslava Mendez, said Monday, adding she believes the civil action will improve the way AA operates.

Last month a San Fernando Superior Court jury found Eric Earle guilty of murdering Brada by wilfully and deliberately smothering her to death between the night of Aug. 31, 2011, and the morning of Sept. 1, 2011, inside the couple’s condominium. He was sentenced Monday to 26 years in prison. AA Daytona Meetings in Holly Hill Park.

The lawsuit alleges the Frys were aware of Earle’s “violent criminal history and specifically his violent history as to violent crimes against women.”

“If this is going to continue with AA, that they’re sending criminals there, then we need to make people aware of that so that they (AA members) know they may be sitting next to a criminal,” Jaroslava Mendez said referring to her daughter’s killer.

In a news release issued Monday by the District Attorney’s office, spokesman Ricardo Santiago described Earle as “a Saugus man with a history of domestic violence.”

Evidence presented at the criminal trial revealed Earle not only assaulted his girlfriend before her death but also assaulted his estranged wife.

Brada’s parents identify Patrick and Joanne Fry as AA sponsors who “provided counseling to members attending meetings and specifically became sponsors for Karla H. Brada and Eric Allen Earle,” according to a copy of the civil suit obtained by The Signal.

In their lawsuit, Brada’s parents allege the AA couple sponsored both Brada and Earle and “facilitated a romantic relationship between them.” Efforts to contact the Frys last week and again Monday were unsuccessful.

A manager at the Santa Clarita Valley office of Alcoholics Anonymous said Monday she is aware of the lawsuit against the office and the sponsors but knows nothing of the claims made in the suit.

“I am also a sponsor,” said the manager, who asked to be identified only as Joanne M. “And, as a sponsor, we lead members through a 12-step program.”

In her 33 years with AA, she said, she did not know of a sponsor intentionally leading any member in the wrong direction.

According to Brada’s parents, the defendants named in the suit “undertook the care, treatment and counseling” of Brada in April 2011.

“The defendants … so negligently, carelessly, recklessly, wantonly, and unlawfully treated, counseled and failed to report apparent abuse of the decedent thereby allowing the abuse to continue and escalate as to directly and proximately cause death of the decedent,” according to the lawsuit.

Brada’s parents filed a similar suit naming Alcoholics Anonymous in 2012, but that suit was withdrawn.

The couple filed the most recent lawsuit with Superior Court in May but it wasn’t served on the defendants until recently.
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Why should parents be careful about letting their teens associate with AA members from the Santa Clarita Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous?

JR Harris's picture

Courtesy of JR Harris on Mon, 12/31/2012

The Santa Clarita Valley (SVC) Central Office of Alcoholics Anonymous is located at 26951 Ruether Ave., Suite B-6, Santa Clarita, CA 91351 and acts as the central focal point of Alcoholics Anonymous claiming no control over the events they coordinate, promote and advertise in that area of Los Angeles County ( Alcoholics Anonymous actively recruits from jails and prison for members under their “Correction Committees”, from mental institutions under their “Hospital & Institution” (H&I) committees and from the probation, parole and court systems under their “Cooperation with the Professional Community” (CPC) committees. The members of AA will tell you that the majority of the members do not come from these outlets and through the last survey they published, which only polled around 7,000 members, only 11% of the members came from these outlets. Depending upon outside sources this number is actually between 45-55%.

Why should this be important information for parents to know if they allow their children to go to AA meetings, Al-Anon or Alateen in Santa Clarita Valley (SVC)? The simple reason is because this particular Intergroup co-mingles Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon and Alateen members and if a teen is attacked physically, financially or sexually they will be made to blame for the attack. Use Google and find the physical, financial or sexual attacks in Alcoholics Anonymous and you will find that the Victim is almost always made to be the reason for the attack and the AA Intergroup or group will be called blameless and they will blame your teen. You and your teen will be told repeatedly that your teen was at fault and that you can’t hold the people holding the event responsible for what happened. Here is an example that happens every year that co-mingles all three groups that happened this year, luckily without any incidents that are known and reported. Continue reading