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Local News

March 18, 2014

Crash victim's parents win $2M judgment against party host

SALEM — The parents of a young Salem woman killed after a 2010 house party in Lynn have won a $2 million civil judgment against the host of that party, according to court records.

Craig Snow, 23, held the birthday party where Julia Gauthier, 19, and her boyfriend, Christopher Maxson, 22, were guests on March 21, 2010.

As Maxson, of Marblehead, was driving Gauthier home that night, he ran several stop signs and then overturned his mother’s SUV on a Lynn side street. Gauthier was ejected and killed. Maxson later received a three-to-four-year prison term in 2010 after pleading guilty to motor vehicle homicide while driving drunk and recklessly.

Maxson and his mother later settled a civil suit brought against them by Gauthier’s father. The terms were not disclosed.

Snow, the host, was charged criminally under the social host liability law but avoided jail time in the case in 2012. Instead, a Lynn District Court judge imposed a suspended sentence and probation.

Last year, Julia Gauthier’s father, acting as the executor of her estate, filed suit against Snow, alleging wrongful death.

Whether Marc Gauthier or his former wife, Marie Gauthier, ever see that money is uncertain, however.

Snow, who defaulted in the civil lawsuit, appeared Thursday in Newburyport Superior Court for an assessment of damages hearing, months after the default judgment was issued.

Judge Richard Welch ordered that a total of $2 million be assessed against Snow, with $1 million each going to her parents, plus $251,180 in interest.

Efforts to reach the Gauthiers and the attorney for the estate were not successful yesterday.

Snow did not respond to a message left for him on his Facebook page.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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