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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