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Lawsuit filed in drunk-driving death

Lake Oswego family seeks $22.3 million from Cory Sause and insurance companies
by: submitted photo, Sause

On the second anniversary of the crash that killed Patrick Kibler, his family held a quiet open house, inviting people who knew him to participate.

The same day, they filed a lawsuit against the drunken driver who took away his promising future.

The suit seeks $22.3 million in damages from two Portland insurance companies and Cory Sause, the uninsured driver who pleaded guilty to criminal negligent homicide and second-degree assault in the accident that killed Kibler.

It also seeks damages from Sause's mother, Heidi Sause, for providing alcohol at home and allowing her intoxicated adult daughter to drive.

Efforts Wednesday to contact members of the Sause family for this story were unsuccessful.

'This suit is not vindictive, it's about consequences,' said Patrick's mother, Vicki Kibler. 'We gave the (Sause family) enough time to deal with this on their own before we filed the suit … I think it's the right thing to do, based on how everything's been handled.'

The fatal crash on Dec. 21, 2004, took place as Kibler was rounding a bend on South Shore Boulevard in Lake Oswego. Sause, 27, crossed the centerline in her vehicle and hit the Kibler vehicle head-on. She had a blood alcohol level of .19 percent, more than twice the legal limit.

The Kiblers are seeking $14 million in damages from the Sause family related to Patrick Kibler's death. They are seeking an additional $7 million from the Sause family related to injuries Patrick's brother Scott suffered in the crash.

Injuries to Scott Kibler included broken ribs, a deflated lung that required a chest tube and a broken wrist and finger. He was comatose with a severe brain bruise, which required a drain from his brain.

A Lakeridge High School student, he continues to undergo treatment for neurological problems.

'(The impact) goes on and on. The bills never stop,' Vicki Kibler said.

Damages sought for both Scott and Patrick Kibler include $5 million in economic damages stemming from Patrick Kibler's future earnings, funeral expenses, medical bills and the Kiblers' lost wages following the crash.

Patrick Kibler, who graduated posthumously from George Fox University, was planning to intern with a large marketing firm in New York City, start a business with his brothers and pursue a professional print modeling career with Aber-crombie and Fitch.

In the two years since the crash, the Kiblers say they have lost profits from several Wendy's franchises they own in Arizona and are unable to focus on their business. The Kiblers are also seeking insurance coverage through the suit, targeting Progressive Northern Insurance Company for denying their $1 million claim for personal injury coverage for Scott and Patrick Kibler. They say Patrick Kibler's insurance contract with Progressive covered both he and his brother for up to $500,000 in injuries stemming from a crash with an uninsured motorist.

Sause, who is now at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, was uninsured or underinsured at the time of the crash, according to the suit.

The suit also seeks to recover $300,000 from Unigard Insurance Company in Multno-mah County for Scott Kibler.

If they win the suit, the Kiblers plan to use some of the money to support the Patrick Kibler Foundation at George Fox. The foundation helps young entrepeuners jump-start their own business.

Vicki Kibler, who travels the country speaking about the accident's toll, also wants to fund more education about drunk driving and drug use.

Lee van der Voo contributed to this article.