where a family was suing Alcoholics Anonymous for its alleged role in the death of their daughter?It was a tragic case—Karla Brada, a Santa Clarita woman on the seemingly right track, was fatally suffocated by a boyfriend she met in program.
Though it makes no sense that an organization like AA could be blamed for anything, let alone two adults meeting and deciding to date, more nonsensical cases have been entertained by the courts so it’s consoling to know that the sacred and simple structure of 12-step programs has been protected.I don’t blame the victim’s parents, Hector and Jaroslava Mendez, for filing the suit.They lost their child and it’s natural to want as many people as possible to pay. Mendez received more than enough validation and support to feel like what they were doing was right.And they were lucky in the sense that the person responsible for their daughter’s murder, Eric Earl, was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 26 years in prison. But I imagine it got quite confusing for them, as there are passionate anti-12 steppers out there who are thirsty for a case like this to forward their own agenda. But this isn’t about right or wrong; it’s about a lack of understanding of what AA actually is.I don’t expect anyone who isn’t a member of a 12-step program to comprehend how they work as there really isn’t much out there like it.The mistake made by the Mendez family was their inaccurate conception of AA as an organization with policies that are enforced.
The administrative arm of Alcoholics Anonymous has little to do with the program and nothing to do with the meetings.
There is no policing of the traditions in an individual meeting, other than someone calling the police if a person there is breaking the law.
Twelve-step meetings are essentially just slightly more organized than hiking groups posted on
It’s just a bunch of people with a common interest (a desire to stop drinking) who feel that getting together with like-minded individuals will help them.
While I am sure that Meetup as an organization has policies and procedures, users and groups on the site are autonomous, self-regulating, and if applicable, self-supporting.
If someone were to get murdered by another Meetup member they met in their hiking group, it would be ludicrous to hold the company responsible.