'Jackass' Star Ryan Dunn's Estate Sued Over Fatal Crash

By Andrew Lu on August 09, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against late "Jackass" star Ryan Dunn.

The lawsuit was filed by the parents of the passenger in the car that Dunn was driving when he got into a fatal accident, gossip website TMZ reports.

Dunn was reportedly driving his Porsche at 132 mph in June 2011 when he lost control and struck a tree in rural Pennsylvania. Both Dunn and his passenger, Zachery Hartwell, were killed. At the time of the accident, Dunn was allegedly "extremely drunk," reports TMZ.

The Ryan Dunn lawsuit names both Dunn and the bar where the actor was drinking prior to getting into his car. Hartwell's parents claim that Barnaby's of America in West Chester, Pa., was negligent in serving alcohol to Dunn when it was obvious he was drunk. They also claim that Dunn was negligent and reckless by driving drunk, especially at 132 mph, according to the lawsuit obtained by TMZ.

It was not specified how much Hartwell's parents are seeking; however, Dunn may still be liable despite the fact that he is dead.

Generally, an injured party can sue a dead person by going after the dead person's estate. The process for bringing the lawsuit would be similar to suing a living person. However, you will be dealing with an agent (the executor of an estate), as opposed to the person liable. In addition, there may be different time limits on when you can bring an action against an estate.

These time limits are covered by state probate laws, which can be complicated. So you may want to contact a personal injury attorney first. An attorney can also help you calculate damages. For example, in the Ryan Dunn lawsuit, it's interesting to note that Zachery Hartwell's parents are seeking from Dunn's estate any wages Hartwell would have earned during his life.

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