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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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Yes it sad yes it sucks but he got in the vehicle willingly and really the wages he would have earned if you were his spouse I could understand but your not that's just greed and before you judge me I've had two friends die from these cir***stances

756 days ago


He willingly got in the car. What more is there?

756 days ago


First of all, both were adults and knew what they were getting into. Second, there is no way to know how much a person will earn throughout their life. In fact, this kid might have died on his own from his alcoholism, had it not happened like it did. Third, I don't think Ryan had much money to sue for, but more power to 'em I guess.

756 days ago


Are they serious? Now everybody is responsible for Ryan's bad and reckless behavior. Then Zach is responsible for letting Ryan drive.
Zach was a Navy Gunner Mate who went to Iraq twice.
I think he knew what he was doing and good friends never let another friend drive when they're drunk.
Lifetime money..... You don't have money? Sue somebody right?

756 days ago


So, everybody else is responsible for Ryan's behavior and they want her son ''paid''?
They want the money Zach would earned on his lifetime? Are you effin kidding?!
Get a job and earn your own lifetime money! WTF is wrong with people these days!

756 days ago


why are they sueing.....this is a tragic accident but their son chose to get in the car with ryan knowing that he had been drinking.

756 days ago

Brian Chapman    

It usually infuriates me when I read all of the frivolous lawsuits that this website reports on but I have to say that this is totally justified. It is very evident that Ryan Dunn had no regard for his own life based on the fact that he routinely drove in this reckless manner but he had no right to do that with his "friend" in the car. The victims family should not have had to file this lawsuit. Dunn's family should have cut a fat check a long time ago.

756 days ago


There is no one to sue.

756 days ago


I am sorry for their loss but did Ryan force the guy to get in the car with him at gunpoint?? the guy knowingly, albeit drunkenly, got into the car with Dunn...there are laws the bar maybe broke the law but beyond funeral expenses i don't think its right to ask for more....its a tragedy all around but no need for greed it wont bring their son back

756 days ago

travis arrendale    

the parents are obviously money hungry. Zac wouldnt have wanted them to sue. He made the same choice Dunn did and thats coming from a fan. Yeah I get that its stupid to drink and drive but still its not like Dunn forced him to get in. RIP Zac and Dunn

756 days ago


Tragic situation. I feel awful for both families. It's hard to agree with the suit, as Zach made the choice to get in the car with Ryan.

756 days ago


Come on, really?!?! I highly doubt that their son was that impaired that he didn't know he climbed willingly into the car that Dunn was driving. He was WITH Dunn, and KNEW how much alcohol was consumed. I remember being 19 here old and calling my father because i was drinking in Canada w some friends....I didn't want to be in the car w said person, and I was pretty drunk myself. You are responsible for yourself, and you are at the age that you can/should make your own decisionss.

756 days ago


I can totally understand the grief that the parents had and still have for both parties involved. However, if your knowingly going out drinking with your friend who is driving then one cannot point a finger at the driver and say this is all your fault,Zach made the decision to get in the car and not call a cab to come get him. Both parties are equally at fault here. Responsibility falls on both Ryan for not stopping drinking before they left so he could sober up and Zach knowingly getting into the car after observing Ryan getting intoxicated. I mean its not like Ryan got drunk and went to pick up Zach and Zach didn't know Ryan had been drinking,they got drunk together. Both made poor decisions, both paid horribly for those decisions and now two families are devastated due to TWO peoples bad decision.

756 days ago


Give me a break. Their son was hanging out with a Jackass. You have to be insane to hang out with these guys. He knew the risk. If you hang out with these guys I'm pretty sure within minutes you know that great personal injury and even death is in the cards. Now anyone one else injured deserves compensation, but freewill is freewill. Too blame anyone else for their son's lifestyle is delusional.

756 days ago


Someone I know was in a similar situation. He was "under the influence" while driving & wrecked the car. He was wearing his seat-belt, while his buddy (also under the influence) was not. His friend was a vegetable up until his death. My friend survived. His friend's family didn't sue, but they pressed charges. He was charged with Assault 1 & sent to prison 4 years after the incident. By this time, he had a wife & a child. Point being, the courts don't care if he willingly got in the car, or if he was drunk too. The whole thing is tragic, but the Hartwells will probably win. At least they gave Ryan Dunn's family a chance to grieve, I suppose...

756 days ago
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