A driver convicted of vehicular manslaughter has filed a countersuit against the parents of the boy he killed. He claims the boy’s parents are to blame because the boy wasn’t wearing a helmet and was riding his bike in the street when killed. The parents’ civil lawsuit against the driver touched off the driver’s counterclaim.
- Convicted driver responds to wrongful death lawsuit with own claim
- Injured party’s fault often at issue as a defense or counterclaim
- Sovereign or governmental immunity shield’s DMV’s mistake
Parents Seek to Sue CT DMV for Negligence
It’s pretty unusual for someone who wasn’t injured in an accident to sue a victim’s survivors for damages. It would not be unusual for this driver to raise the defense of contributory or comparative negligence to the parents’ lawsuit. It’s doubtful a jury would sympathize with either the defense or the counterclaim in this case.
The parents of the boy have also sued the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. They claim the DMV should have pulled the driver’s license because of his numerous prior traffic convictions, including five arrests and four convictions for drunk driving. The DMV has admitted its mistake.
What stands between the parents and compensation for the loss of their son is not the driver’s countersuit. He’s probably judgment proof anyway. It’s the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The state can’t be sued for personal injury or wrongful death in most circumstances. The parents have asked the state to waive immunity in their case.
By: Arthur Buono
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