A 21-year-old man is targeted by a lawsuit aimed at compensating the family of a 14-year-old girl who died in a car accident in Ohio. Representing his deceased daughter's estate, the victim's father filed the wrongful death suit in order to help pay for the girl's medical and funeral expenses and compensate family members for the anguish and sorrow caused by the death of their loved one.
According to the wrongful death lawsuit, the victim was traveling with the defendant to a Halloween block party in Athens, Ohio, at the time of the accident. A trooper with the Ohio State Highway patrol attempted to pull over the 21-year-old driver for a burnt out headlight. The driver fled and prompted a high-speed chase for about half a mile. Police say the defendant then allegedly lost control of his vehicle, veering off the right side of the road and colliding with a tree. The defendant's 14-year-old passenger was killed by the impact.
The girl's father claims the defendant was negligent in driving at such an unsafe speed, as well as failing to insure his vehicle. Additionally, the lawsuit accuses the defendant of possibly being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but no toxicology tests have been performed.
The family hopes to secure monetary compensation, partly to allow them to reimburse parties that funded the victim's medical and burial costs. Additionally, they have requested an additional sum to account for the pain and suffering experienced by the girl before her death, as well as other various expenses, court costs and the price of legal representation.
Passengers don't give up their rights when they get in a car being driven by someone else. A driver has a duty to protect his or her vehicle's occupants.
Source: Parkersburg News and Sentinel, "Fitchett family files wrongful death lawsuit," Jeffrey Saulton, Feb. 25, 2012