Image via WikipediaCourt reinstates lawsuit over death during sleepover - Crime/Safety - NewsObserver.com.
The court reached that conclusion in a 5-2 decision reinstating a $15 million wrongful death lawsuit filed by the father of a 14-year-old North Carolina girl who died in a car crash during a sleepover with a friend in the Richmond area in December 2004.
According to the complaint, the McDonoughs asked if Jaimee could spend the night with their daughter Becka. The Kellermanns agreed but said their daughter was not allowed to ride with young drivers - or, as Michael Kellermann put it, "No boys with cars."
That night, Paula McDonough dropped the girls off at the mall, where they met up with another girl and two boys, including 17-year-old Nathan DeFrank. Becka later called home and got her mother's permission for DeFrank to drive her and Jaimee home, according to the lawsuit.
On the way home, according to the complaint, DeFrank drove "wildly" at up to 80 mph on a winding two-lane road while Jaimee frantically text-messaged her father and a friend, saying she was afraid. DeFrank lost control of the car and slammed into a tree. Jaimee died at a hospital the next morning.
Henrico County Circuit Judge Daniel T. Balfour dismissed the Kellermanns' lawsuit, agreeing with the McDonoughs that they had no legal duty to Jaimee.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Leroy R. Hassell Sr. wrote in the majority opinion that agreeing with that ruling would mean an adult who agreed to supervise a group of 4-year-olds could allow them to play on a busy street or play with loaded guns without being subject to liability.