15 May Canadian tourist facing jail time in Cuba in fatal boat accident suing Sunwing
A Quebec man facing four years in a Cuban jail following a boating accident that killed a fellow Canadian tourist last year is suing Sunwing.
Lawyers representing Toufik Benhamiche of Mascouche filed the application in Quebec last week seeking damages against the travel company.
Benhamiche was driving a small boat as part of a tourist excursion in July 2017 in Cayo Coco when it veered out of control and fatally struck a woman from Ontario.
The lawsuit alleges Benhamiche was given little instruction on how to operate the craft and wasn’t briefed on safety measures or legal obligations.
In an emailed statement, Sunwing says it does not see the merit in the legal action it is facing and notes it doesn’t own, manage or operate local excursions in Cuba.
Benhamiche, 47, and his wife are seeking a little more than $340,000 in damages.
He told Montreal La Presse his life has been turned upside down and that his goal is to rehabilitate his reputation.
A Cuban court found Benhamiche guilty of criminal negligence causing the death of the woman from Ontario and sentenced him to four years in prison.
Benhamiche is not currently jailed, but he could be at some point in the future. He has appealed the conviction.