Belle River teenager retains lawyer after getting injured at after-prom party
A Belle River teenager, who was badly injured at an after prom party in Maidstone last month, has retained a lawyer.
The young man attended the same party where police say multiple stabbings also occurred. His father believes more could have been done to prevent any injury from occurring.
Witnesses say hundreds of party goers were there that night.
Dan Derikozis, the father of one of those in attendance, says it's been incredibly difficult watching his son Eric Mershback cope with the serious injury he suffered and the very uncertain recovery.
Mershback was standing with friends at an after prom party when he says out of nowhere a shard of glass shot into his eye.
“There's a good chance that he may never see out of that eyeball again,” says Derikozis.
Derikozis says he needs a cornea transplant and a lens implant, but even with those surgeries they still don't know if he'll ever get his vision back.
“I'm scared,” says Derikozis. “It doesn't sound good whatsoever. The amount of surgeries he's gonna have to go through, just to be able to see again. It's tough for me to be positive.”
The 18-year-old was one of an estimated 1500 people who attended a massive prom party inside this barn in Maidstone. They believe someone threw a beer bottle, which smashed against a pole and shattered.
Mershback was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“His spirits are down,” says Derikozis. “He's down on his luck. I can tell he's suffering from maybe worried about the future and how it's going to affect his future.”
Mershback hasn't been able to work since the accident. He can't ride a bike and has had to reschedule his final driver's test.
“The retina was cut right down middle. Tayfour stitched it together. Now he has a lens over that so when he blinks, it’s not disturbing the stitches. So you can imagine the pain, just from looking at something, it hurts.”
At the same party, Windsor police say at least three other party goers were stabbed.
A video posted on Twitter by an apparent student claims to show a fight breaking out at the party. CTV News has not been able to independently verify the video was shot at the party and it's not known if this is the fight that led to the beer bottle incident.
Regardless, Derikozis says it shouldn't have happened.
“If somebody is going to organize an event like this, there has to be security or preventative measures to make sure this doesn't happen,” says Derikozis.
His son has retained Windsor lawyer Gino Paciocco, who is gathering evidence to determine if there was any negligence.
“It’s the obligation and onus is on property owner and event organizer to keep patrons safe that attend their property, however, we don't know exactly what happened that night, that's the whole purpose of conducting an investigation - to get more info to see if they acted reasonable in the circumstances,” says Paciocco.
“Certainly, if there was no security there, it created dangerous situation for all of the patrons and it’s certainly something we will be investigating.”
Paciocco says this is still in the very early stages, so it's too soon to determine if a formal lawsuit will be filed.
At this point, it's still not known who threw the beer bottle that caused this injury. That will be part of the investigation.
Paciocco says he's looking for information from the public, with respect to the specific incident or the party itself. Anyone with information is asked to come forward.
CTV News did try to reach the owner of the property, but was not able to reach him. A tenant said he didn't know anything about the party, but did point CTV toward the host.
Police say the investigation into the stabbings is ongoing.