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Ryan Dunn’s Estate Sued By Crash Victim’s Parents

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Ryan Dunn’s Estate Sued By Crash Victim’s Parents
[ Life]

Ryan Dunn, former star of “Jackass” and the Jackass movies, left behind a rather sizable estate when he died in a fiery car accident last year, and because the crash also took the life of his passenger Zachary Hartwell, Hartwell’s parents are filing suit against that estate for the “pre-impact fright, fear, pain and suffering” that Hartwell experienced.

Dunn and Hartwell were drinking at a pub in Pennsylvania called Barnaby’s West Chester right before the crash, and Dunn’s blood alcohol level was twice that of the legal limit. Because the bar served an obviously inebriated Dunn, Hartwell’s parents are also filing suit against the owners and want both parties to compensate for the wages their son would have earned over his lifetime.

West Goshen police said that Dunn’s accident was the worst they’d seen, adding that accident reconstruction teams estimate he was driving around 130 MPH in his Porsche before losing control, slamming through a gaurdrail, and crashing into a wooded area before the car burst into flames.

Image credit: TMZ

Ryan Dunn’s Estate Sued By Crash Victim’s Parents


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  • Raven

    I understand they want compensation but I don’t think both parties need to pay for the same thing.
    I think it should be Ryan’s estate. Yes he left the bar drunk but bars can’t stop people who walk out of their doors. They can’t take people’s keys. And we don’t know how Ryan was acting. Maybe he could hold his liquor so didn’t appear to drunk when he left the bar.

    • Mickey Menges

      As a long-time bar employee, the whole suit is complete crap, and just another case of people trying to get money… The face that it was a drunk driving accident is tragic, and poor decision making by both the driver, Ryan, and the passengers. Nobody held a gun to anyone’s head, and he simple could have said “No, I’ll take a cab. Have a good night man.” While I am sympathetic for the family’s loss, this is just pathetic.

  • MCS

    So apprently their son’s irresponsible alcohol consumption or his CHOICE to get into the car with Dunn are excusable, it is Dunn’s fault thus MONEY will make it better. The grounds they are suing on, fear pain etc. were all brought about by their son’s CHOICE to get into the car knowing they were both drunk. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but at this point everyone knows Dunn was wrong and paid with his life,your suing an estate for money. NOW the bar if it did serve the two after they were already hammered as stated should be sued, the bar is at fault they should have stopped serving.

    • AES

      By the same token, Dunn’s family shouldn’t be rewarded by his death at his own hands, either (insurance policies/inheritance/etc.) I’m all for punitive damages in this case…. it will serve as a lesson to others that it’s not cool to be a jackass.

  • Josh

    I don’t think they should be entitled to ANYTHING. Their son didn’t have to get in the car with him….he was obviously the same type of person as Ryan, so he was probably riding shotgun cheering him on as they were barrelling along at 130 mph…..Darwinism at it’s finest.

    • Nick

      Zac was always the designated driver for the jack ass guys… Ryan was supposed to be the dd that night, but no one asks those questions….he took Zac out to celebrate Zacs accomplishments…. Actually….. They were great friends, but different people….ass….

  • Jessica

    This makes me absolutely sick that a suit like this is even possible in our judicial system. It would be one thing if their son had survived, unfortunately and very sadly he did not, which makes this lawsuit so incredibly desperate. Shame on these disgusting and selfish people.

    • Nick

      Ignorant cunny, these are some of the least selfish people u will ever meet…..stupid people like urself should jump off a cliff…. If u survive then sue the cliff… If u don’t make it fuck it… U r not worth any value especially money…..

  • http://broadstonestore.com Teddy

    For wages he would have earned assuming he worked 30 years and earned an average of $50,000 then it would be $1,500,000. Article does not state amount they are looking for or the sizable estate Dunn had.

    Wonder why they waited so long to file. Most estate’s are settled in about one year so they waited until the last minute to file lawsuit.

  • http://newbizshop.com Derek

    I’m sure the family is having money problems so they thought, “Why not become a millionaire and live the amercian dream by suing the pants off someone”.

    It was very sad that this accident happened and it could of been prevented if people would just not Drink and Drive but since it’s a famous person, it’s so easy to become a millionaire and sue.

    • Nick

      If Ryan had 50 dollars the parents would still sue…. Dick head…. Kill urself and tell ur family to read these posts and not sue the person because they don’t deserve anything for u

  • TIFFANY

    i don’t think dunn’s estate should have to pay for his lifetime salary BUT it should absolutely pay for expenses from his death.. but honestly i think the bar that let them leave is more responsible than anyone else!! they had to know they were both too drunk to drive & their should be some law that makes bar owners/employees step in to call the cops or something from keeping people leaving & driving drunk.

    • Trevor Gowe

      The BAR is more responsible than ANYONE else?? Seriously? How about the guy who got drunk as **** and then drove his Porche 130 MPH? Personal responsibility.

    • LJ

      Are you serious? So, every person that is drinking in the bar should be checked out by the people working at the bar to make sure they are not getting into a vehicle and driving when they leave? Blame the person that should be blamed, the guy driving drunk, nobody else.

      • AES

        LOL! You obviously haven’t been to many bars (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). In PA, serving inebriated persons can cost a proprietor their liquor license.

      • Red Rocket

        Blame the guy hitching a ride with the guy drinking drunk

  • nancy

    SMH thats whats wrong with this country is how easy it is to say im gonna sue…. How in the heck does suing someone because you lost someone the right thing to do???? He made the choice to get in that car and he was drinking as well that makes it consensual (however u spell it)…. Its not fair they died and families lost loved ones.. but from experience I can tell you money does not fix it… they are not coming back… I think the whole system needs to be fixed.. suing for revenge is just wrong no matter how u spin it….

  • john

    left behind a large estate but didn’t have the money to call a cab…dumb, just a dumb incident

  • Kyle Keller

    I was waiting for this to happen. This is absolutely classless. I hope they enjoy their blood money.

  • Kyle Keller

    WAIT A MINUTE…

    “Hartwell’s parents are also filing suit against the owners and want both parties to compensate for the wages their son would have earned over his lifetime”

    So, they think that they’re entitled to every cent that their son would have made if he had lived out his life? OMG. This is sick. This is twisted.

  • natalie

    i can see how they would want to do this however, there son got into a car with someone that was drunk. it’s not the bartenders or owners fault for making sure of his safety, its his own. so some one should have brought a d.d. and then nothing would have happened. i hope she loses and they laugh at her.

  • Joe

    I’m glad his parents are taking this step. Why did they wait a year? To mourn and to get everything organized.

    Reality is, Ryan Dunn is a murderer. He killed himself and a “friend” selfishly. This was no accident. It was an accident the first time he did it years prior with Bam. This piece of shit has been rotting in hell for a year now, lets leave him name and memories there forever.

    • Kris

      Ryan Dunn is not a murderer. Hartwell was an adult. He didn’t have to get in the car. I am sorry for the Hartwells loss and I hope this all get’s settled soon.

      • ugh

        That bar is fun.

      • Nick

        He’s a vehicular homicider

    • zach ez

      you should kill yourself…and your cold memories

    • http://none Herny Merkweti

      HAHAHA…joe believes in “hell”. That is adorable. Joe must be 5 yrs old.

    • Colly

      A “murderer”? Apparently Joe believes it was Dunn’s intention to deliberately kill himself and his passenger. Dude, there was no intent to kill, thus he was not a murderer….an a$$h@le drunk that was negligent causing a homicide, SURE, but a murderer, NO.
      Murder is a type of homicide, but one with intent….I’m sure the idiot had no intent to kill.

  • kevin

    I am not arguing for or against. But… it is not illegal to be impaired and ride as a passenger in a car. It is illegal to be impaired and drive. An impaired person cannot accurately gauge other around them whether they are impaired as well, nor are the legally responsible to do so, except for the sober bar tender and should have cut him off. But, the bar tender has no legal obligation to stop the person from leaving the bar either… so that would put the ownus on the driver.

  • me

    while i feel for the family of Zachary Hartwell he was an adult. on the news the lawsuit said dunn was visibly drunk. well talk about personal responsibility, he should have not got in that car with his visibly drunk friend. it was also said that dunn was known for driving like an a**hole. just my opinion i dont know the laws but everyone who gets served at a bar has to be 21. so if you were sloppy falling on the floor yes you should be flagged. but your an adult at 21 you should know when to stop. he should not have gotten in that car!!!

  • TeddieB

    Well if the Jury has the same opinions the people here do they won’t get far in their suit. I could understand maybe suing for a reasonable amount for the costs the incurred because of their son’s death funeral expenses, etc. But the are obviously trying to sue for every possible thing they can think of which makes me believe it is just about the money. Knowing only the laws in my state which do hold the bar accountable if someone is allowed to consume more than the legal limit in which case they have heavy fines they have to pay and after too many they loose their license to serve alcohol yes maybe they should have been cut off. My guess this isn’t some large company owned place most bar’s and clubs are not owned by a corporation, so a large lawsuit could very well put them out of business how is hurting the owner of this establishment going to make them feel better. I especially don’t see how his family unless maybe if he had a wife and children has the right to money he would have earned in income he would have spent that money on his own expenses his family wouldn’t have seen any of it if he had been alive, and how can they put an estimate on how many years of income he could have earned he could have died from cancer or some other disease a short time down the road. They don’t know how long he would have lived if this accident hadn’t occurred!!!! How do they know he felt any pain, suffering, fear, or any of that in the seconds before impact. Knowing what many of us know about Dunn and his group of buddies they were all the type of people to drink heavy, party, drive fast, and do crazy things. His buddy got in that car because he thought it would be fun to be drunk and ride down the road at 130mph in his buddies Porsche. He was most likely living a life where this kind of accident was a huge probability! So just because this one time he was the passenger and not the driver his family thinks they can use that to make them selves rich!! They are not honoring the death of their loved one! They are dishonoring it by using it for their own gratification. If they wanted to honor him they would not be suing to the extent they are and they would find a constructive way of honoring him! Such as lobbying against drunk driving, or going and talking to teens and young adults about his death and why they should have always have a safe ride home. I pray the jury that hears this does not give them everything they are asking for!!!

    • Nick

      Hey bud, u don’t know the family…. U don’t know it’s about money….. It’s about having a voice…. If his son’ s killer was alive he would have someone to yell at, to take his frustrations out on, but he doesn’t have a chance to do that , so this is how the family gets their voice…..in court, with $$$$ and boy will they…. Internet juries are garbage…. And before u tell the family what they should be doing to honor their son…. Do some research….ur ignorance is hideous with that comment and all these people’s comments… They have and do honor him in the way u stated…. But they don’t put that on tmz or MTV…. Because this is about poor Ryan Dunn. Have u ever thought u were about to die? How do u know it doesn’t feel like working for 1 billion dollars and then not getting to spend it…. There is no law about how drunk the passenger of a car may be and there is no law about deciding to get in the car….do u know Zac was the designated driver for the jackass guys…. Did u know he never drove under the influence… Did u know he didn’t enjoy doing 130mph in a car, did u know he didn’t enjoy dying…. Tell this story the story of how Ryan would pay Zacs family every last dime to bring Zac back, one of Ryan’s best friends. If ryan were still alive he’d do anything to get Zac back or give any amount of$$$ to help with their suffering….or do u think if Ryan were alive he’d say, why are u suing me, poor me, poor Ryan…. Or did u ever think about any of those things I asked u?

  • TeddieB

    I also would guess the reason that they waited so long to file this lawsuit is because they were waiting for the settlement they already got from his insurance. Which was probably to many of us a very large sum of money. I am sure Dunn had excellent coverage on his Porsche and I am sure they did not except what the insurance company offered in the beginning most people don’t their attorney would have fought to get them the most possible!! So they most likely already got large amounts of money which is why they waiting so long and are not suing for funeral costs, etc. because the courts would say they were compensated for those expenses by the insurance co.

    • Colly

      In another article it said that they were in deed suing for funeral costs.

  • Tim

    “Hartwell’s parents are also filing suit against the owners and want both parties to compensate for the wages their son would have earned over his lifetime”

    That is a normal means for the court to put a value on a life when dealing with a wrongful death suit.

  • jamal

    zach was an adult, he made his own choice to get in that car. him. i drink, and if my driver is wasted. i walk home and take my chances with cops starting crap with me. but how can i family sue for a bad choice their son made. he knew dunn was messed up, he should of said no don’t drive, and done anything to not let him in the car, even if it means fighting. i did it before and that person is still alive.

  • question not comment

    Does anyone know if Hartwell had children? Is this lawsuit to compensate them perhaps?

    • AngelnHavok

      Everything I read said he didn’t have children, but he had a wife of only 8 months. He was also in the military and served in Operation Freedom

  • http://none Herny Merkweti

    “pre-impact fright, fear, pain and suffering” haha…do lwayers just sit around seeing what ridiculous sh&t they can make up and try and make money off it? Oh yeah…they do. They’re sueing for the 2 seconds before their son exploded into a tree? Idiots.

  • Colly

    “pre-impact fright, fear, pain and suffering”….what a bunch of bull! At 130MPH, there was no time for “fright” and “fear” and surely no “pain and suffering” when you’re dea on impact or unconcience. Anyway, I do feel the parents have every right to sue for the loss of their son, BUT come on now, come up with something better than that….like negligence….even ‘just because’.

    AND, to sue for his salery for the remainder of his life?!?! Who’s to say he wouldn’t have died at his own hands from drinking and driving the following evening?! I understand their pain & suffering, but ask for something in better terms, such as a percentage of Dunn’s estate.

  • ugh

    Sue this (dead) jackass.

  • Money Grubbers???

    Really? Seriously? They are just out for cash.
    Gee, I hope it fixes everything for them.
    Greedy bastards. Dunn lived that way, don’t
    blame anyone for what happened. I live the same way,
    and would never want someone sued over my lifestyle choices.
    Get over it, and get one with life. Money doesn’t ever bring anyone back!

  • Rachael

    The adult with Ryan Dunn made his choice. He obviously didn’t care enough to do the responsible thing and not let Ryan drive and not get in vehicle with him. I understand they have pain and suffering but money isn’t going to bring their son back. Nor were they going to get their son’s lifetime salary.

  • AngelnHavok

    I agree that Ryan’s estate should take care of the funeral costs, since they have the ability to do it, but that’s about it. Not to mention the fact that his PARENTS are the ones that filed the lawsuit, not even his widow – wth?? I’m sorry, but money won’t make it better, and they will have to relive it constantly in court just to be greedy. Totally not worth it – just let their memories rest in peace.

  • kp

    I think that sueing for funeral cost is reasonable, however, why are they tryin to sue for wages thier son may or may NOT have made during his life time, not only that but why would his parents get his money either way, if he were alive making money it would be his not thiers. Also he chose to get into a car with someone who was intoxicated, and so in my opinion he ultimatly chose his own fate. Both familes are greiving so im sure this makes it hard on Dunns family to have to go through all this as well. May they both rest easy.

  • Red Rocket

    Hartwell should get zero… he accepted the risk getting into Ryan’s car

  • kristina cook

    i do not promote or condone drinking and driving at all…but he made a choice to drink, both of them did and they decided to drive whether he was a passenger or not he did not have to get in the car…there is plenty of cab, trains, bus and other forms of transportation. i feel for the families but sueing the bar andthe other family estate will not change the fact that their son made a mistake also not just ryan dunn…

  • Johnny Rotville

    One could say what if Dunn started driving like a maniac after the the victim got into the car?
    However, He had to totally know how f*cked up Dunn was before he took the ride.
    My verdict goes to Dunn’s estate.
    The plaintiff gets 0.00 on his claim….
    NEXT!

  • Nick

    Hey bud, u don’t know the family…. U don’t know it’s about money….. It’s about having a voice…. If his son’ s killer was alive he would have someone to yell at, to take his frustrations out on, but he doesn’t have a chance to do that , so this is how the family gets their voice…..in court, with $$$$ and boy will they…. Internet juries are garbage…. And before u tell the family what they should be doing to honor their son…. Do some research….ur ignorance is hideous with that comment and all these people’s comments… They have and do honor him in the way u stated…. But they don’t put that on tmz or MTV…. Because this is about poor Ryan Dunn. Have u ever thought u were about to die? How do u know it doesn’t feel like working for 1 billion dollars and then not getting to spend it…. There is no law about how drunk the passenger of a car may be and there is no law about deciding to get in the car….do u know Zac was the designated driver for the jackass guys…. Did u know he never drove under the influence… Did u know he didn’t enjoy doing 130mph in a car, did u know he didn’t enjoy dying…. Tell this story the story of how Ryan would pay Zacs family every last dime to bring Zac back, one of Ryan’s best friends. If ryan were still alive he’d do anything to get Zac back or give any amount of$$$ to help with their suffering….or do u think if Ryan were alive he’d say, why are u suing me, poor me, poor Ryan…. Or did u ever think about any of those things I asked u?

    • Brian

      You do realize by not typing the y or o in the word you or your makes you look foolish? Any and all of your points become less valid as you type a long winded response littered with u and ur.

      • Nick

        Okprofessor…. Go correct English papers fool, I look uneducated, u r spending ur Friday night critiquing internet comments…..retard…. Is that all u have 2 say… Nothing of substance….u must be a toll booth operator or something that doesn’t take to much thought..am I right? Of course I am……

      • Angie

        come on this is internet lingo……you really need to get a life if the only thing you can commment on about this article is the man’s spelling!

    • Ballard

      Thank you Nick.

  • BNP619

    Ok so let me get this right… ryan made him go to the bar with him, get drunk with him, & Get into a car with a drunk person.. that is the problem with people, no one can take responsibility, they are both to blame. THe paid with their lives, that should be enough.

  • Heather

    It’s more than a year after the fact. I know Zach’s family is still hurting, but so is Ryan’s. However, why is his family filing a law suit to obtain wages he would have earned in a lifetime? First of all, regardless of what he would have made, he never would have been paying his parents any of it. Second of all, if it’s his windowed wife who wants to the money, who’s to say they would even still be married if Zach was alive. Accidents happen, I’m not saying we should just get over it, but I am saying we all need to cope and learn how to keep moving forward and live our lives instead of pointing fingers at one another.

  • jj

    WARNING
    The following show features stunts
    performed either by professionals or
    under the supervision of professionals,
    Accordingly MTV and the producers
    must insist that no one attempt to
    recreate of re-enact any stunt or
    activity performed on this show.
    I AM A HUGE JACKASS FAN!
    but…
    Let us look at that WARNING a little closer shall we?
    Was Ryan Dunn a professional race car driver?
    Was Ryan Dunn driving smashed under the supervision of professionals?
    I am normally very quick to be disgusted by greed and gold diggers who are lookin for a pay day…but this is a sad reality that I am ok with. I didn’t know Dunn, but I bet a sober Dunn would not have made the same deadly decision and would have been devastated had he lived to know his Jackassness killed his friend or another human being. Hopefully the Hartwell family’s “attorney” won’t be greedy to hurt Ryan’s family.

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