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Ryan Dunn Car Crash

Parents of Dead Passenger

Sue ... He Killed Our Son

8/8/2012 3:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news


The parents of the passenger who was also killed in Ryan Dunn's fatal 2011 high speed car crash are suing the "Jackass" star's estate ... claiming Dunn was extremely drunk when he wrecked his Porsche and is responsible for killing their son.

TMZ broke the story ... Dunn had been drinking HEAVILY before he crashed his Porsche into a tree at 132 mph in Pennsylvania in June 2011 ... killing himself and his passenger Zachary Hartwell.

Now, Hartwell's parents have filed a lawsuit against Dunn's estate AND the bar where Dunn had been drinking before the crash ... claiming Barnaby's West Chester was negligent in serving Dunn after he was obviously hammered.

The Hartwells also claim Dunn was reckless and negligent by operating his vehicle while under the  influence of alcohol ... and should not have been driving at extremely dangerous speeds.

Zach's parents are suing for unspecified damages ... claiming they've lost the services, guidance, and comfort of their son. And they want Dunn's estate to cover expenses associated with Zach's death ... including funeral costs.

Zach's parents are also suing on behalf of their son's estate ... claiming Dunn and the bar should pay for the "pre-impact fright, fear, pain and suffering" that Zach experienced before he died.

Zach's parents also want both parties to pay for the wages Zach would have earned during his lifetime.


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I can understand that....That entire situation was horrible but expected.

805 days ago


Sorry but there son was also drinking and he got into the car with him.

805 days ago


Sometimes I hate that Americans can just sue anyone. I understand you lost your son, but unless he had a wife and child to provide for......WHY THE HELL ARE YOU SUING??

805 days ago


Well apparently their son decided to get in the vehicle with Ryan. Why should the parents get anything for it, since their child knew Ryan was hammered when he was driving.

805 days ago


I can understand wrongful death suits - particularly when they are being used to try and prove someone killed your family member and you are trying to have them prosecuted or when the person killed has left behind children/spouse/etc who will not be able to necessarily afford the things they would have with him there. That being said, this is truly appearing to be true greed. His parents cannot prosecute the person responsible, as he is dead. His parents cannot replace him with money. His parents are not financially affected by this loss, other than funeral expenses, in which I agree the estate does owe them for. However, why should his parents get his lifetime wages? Would he have given them all of his earnings had he been alive? Why do they want to profit off of his death? All they are doing is hurting the family of the other person who died. This is just sick - they should be ashamed of them - I am sure their son would be.

805 days ago

Second Opinion    

I'm sorry you lost your son but come the f*ck on. Zach wasn't forced into that car. He made a conscious decision to ride with Dunn and unfortunately that decision cost him his life.

805 days ago


I can't wait for that whole "cult of Jackass" to go the way of rap-rock and grunge.

805 days ago


While I"m sorry that they lost their son, at some point we have to take responsibility for our own actions. He should not have gotten into that car. His parents are grieving and want to blame someone, make someone pay. Part of the risk of drinking alcohol is that we make stupid decisions, like driving, or getting into the car with an obviously "hammered" person. We never think that bad things will happen to us, leaving our families to deal with our loss. As for the bar, serving an already inebriated person IS against the law, too bad people have to babysit others while they're drinking. I think that maybe his celebrity status contibuted to their willingness to continue serving him, who knows. However, bottom line is, we are responsible for our own actions. Getting into the car with a drunk driver is a bad decision. Unfortunately, it had disasterous results for both, and those they left behind.

805 days ago

furious cupcakes    

These people are disgusting. How on earth can you rationalize having someone else pay YOU as if you were your sons wife or kids the expected salary he would have made for the rest of his life, if in actuality that wouldn't even be true if he lived his whole life. He would not have handed over his every paycheck to them in the first place. It is impossible at the very least to determine that their son would have been with a job or without one in the "future". Clearly this man would NOT have been making an income in his alleged future because he made decisions irrationally, such as getting intoxicated and then into a car with another intoxicated person who was driving in excess of 130mph.

805 days ago


Interesting since he said this last year:

"Despite the fact that Ryan was driving drunk when the car crashed on June 20, George said the Hartwell family has no plans to sue Ryan’s estate. “Why would we sue? Zac made the same mistakes. He speeds, he drives like a maniac, he drinks. Why should I make a monetary gain on my son’s death? It’s not going to bring him back. They both made the same mistake. Mistakes are made.”"

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805 days ago

Bobo Frog    

I once saw a video where Ryan Dunn put a toy car in his bum. Ryan Dunn lived and died with car parts in his ass.

805 days ago


No one forced the son to get in a car with a known reckless driver like Dunn. The son entered at his own risk and if he was with him he knew he was drunk

805 days ago


I agree to sue the estate but not the bar. If you're over 21 I'm not your babysitter. Why didn't you, the parents, teach your son not to ever get into a car with a drunk driver?

805 days ago


All the money in the world won't bring him back!!! I am also sure he wasn't innocent in the matter either, he may not have crashed the car but 1) He didn't have to ride with Dunn and 2) He was possibly JUST AS SMASHED if not more. Heartbreaking and terrible occurrence but things happen and people die EVERY DAY!

805 days ago


See... I can't even feel sorry for these people because they are trying to rape the system. The bar is NOT responsible for Ryan Dunn's choice to drink & drive, let alone his decision to drive 132 mph, which is very dangerous even sober. How are they responsible?? That's absurd. And they want the bar to pay for "pre-impact fright, fear, pain and suffering" that Zach experienced before he died?! Are you f*cking kidding me? Zach was wasted too so I'm sure he had no fear. He willingly got into the car with Ryan & I'm sure he was aware that Ryan drinks & drives & is a maniac behind the wheel. They were both idiots & I truly can't even feel a little sorry for them. The only thing that is good news is that no innocent person on the road was killed by this maniac & his idiotic decisions. Ryan's estate should pay for the other guy's funeral costs, nothing more. Parents are trying to get rick off of their son's death, which is shameful.

805 days ago
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