LOS ANGELES, CA- The family of a Torrance man struck and killed by a drunk driving substance-abuse counselor is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the woman’s employer, Twin Town Treatment Center.
Sherri Wilkins is serving a 55-years- to-life prison sentence for fatally hitting 31-year-old Phillip Moreno with her car on November 24, 2012 as Wilkins left her job at the Torrance counseling center. Witnesses saw Wilkins drive two miles with Moreno splayed out across her windshield before motorists swarmed her at a traffic light and forced her to stop.
The Moreno family’s attorney, Brian Kabateck is filling the wrongful death lawsuit in LA Superior Court on Thursday November 20,2014. The complaint states the Twin Town Treatment Center failed to properly monitor Sherri Wilkins who appeared under the influence of drugs and alcohol during the treatment sessions she facilitated.
Members of Phillip Moreno’s family will speak at the press conference, including his sister Yolanda Salgado and her husband, Marco Salgado who was also a patient at Twin Town Treatment Center and received counseling from Wilkins.
Marco will discuss how Wilkins appeared to nod off during counseling sessions and exhibited other behaviors of someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He was surprised that while it seemed obvious to him that Wilkins had relapsed, no one at the treatment facility did anything to monitor her. Marco, who works in the traffic division for the city of Torrance, was also one of the first to respond to the fatal accident.
“This accident was foreseeable and preventable if Sherri Wilkins’ supervisors had acted on the red flags,” said Brian Kabateck.
53-year-old Wilkins, who was a drug addict before becoming a drug and alcohol counselor, claims she was “self-medicating” while waiting for knee-replacement surgery. According to police, on the night of the accident Wilkins consumed three single-serving bottles of vodka and a can of beer that night, before starting to drive in the course and scope of her job.