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Julie Garber

Estate of "Jackass" Star Ryan Dunn Sued for Wrongful Death

By August 21, 2012

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Over a year after intoxicated MTV "Jackass" star Ryan Dunn killed himself and his passenger, Zachary Hartwell, in a car crash in Pennsylvania, Hartwell's parents, as executors of his estate, have sued Dunn's estate for damages due to the untimely death of their son. The bar where Dunn and Hartwell had been drinking that night, Barnaby's of America, was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Among the claims that are made in the complaint that was filed in the Common Pleas Court for Philadelphia County:

  1. Employees of Barnaby's were negligent, careless and reckless in serving a visibly intoxicated Dunn, which was a direct cause of Hartwell's death.
  2. Dunn's negligence, carelessness and recklessness in failing to properly operate his vehicle within the speed limit and driving while under the influence were a direct cause of Hartwell's death.
  3. Hartwell's estate is entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of Hartwell caused by Barnaby's and Dunn, including funeral expenses, medical expenses and legal expenses, as well as loss of companionship.
  4. Hartwell's parents, George and Erma, and his wife, Rachel, are entitled to compensation for the damages personally suffered by Hartwell due to the crash, including "pre-impact fright, fear, pain and suffering" as well as compensation for loss of his future earnings.

According to Radar Online, 30-year-old Zachary Hartwell was a former Navy Gunner's Mate who had been on two tours of duty in Iraq and had only been married for eight months at the time of the crash. Dunn and Hartwell had met on the set of Jackass Number Two where Hartwell worked as a production assistant, and apparently the night of the crash the two were celebrating clinching a deal they had been working on together. Hartwell's parents are seeking an undisclosed amount of compensatory and punitive damages from Barnaby's and Dunn's estate on behalf of themselves and their son's widow.

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