A Santa Fe, N.M. man convicted of a fatal 2010 drunken-driving accident says his filing a lawsuit against two restaurants and a drinking buddy doesn’t mean he’s not taking responsibility for his actions.
James Ruiz, 37, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in New Mexico District Court and is seeking monetary damages from the friend he was out drinking with as well as Applebee’s and the Blue Corn Cafe.
Ruiz says in a letter to the news media that his lawsuit is intended to make the defendants take responsibility for their actions while seeking a way to repay relatives who paid for his legal defense.
Ruiz is in prison in Grants, serving a 42-year sentence for manslaughter and causing great bodily injury by vehicle.
Two members of a Naschetti family in Santa Fe for a high school basketball tournament were killed when Ruiz’s truck rear-ended the family’s car.
Ruiz and four other people were injured in the four-vehicle accident.