The Virginia Supreme Court has withdrawn a decision in a precedent-setting case that potentially held host parents liable for civil damages in the death of a teenage sleepover guest.
As discussed in a previous blog posting, the original ruling–which returned the case to Henrico County for a full trial–had the makings for significantly expanding the potential liability for adults in Virginia who supervise their children’s friends, even if an injury is cause by a third party.
As reported by Virginia Lawyer Weekly, “the court’s opinion in Kellermann v. McDonough, handed down in July, allowed a civil trial of a couple who allegedly permitted their daughter and a visiting friend to ride with a 17-year-old boy. The ride ended in a crash and the death of the visiting 14-year-old girl.”
The defendants’ attorney successfully petitioned for rehearing on various legal grounds.
As a result, the court order starts the appeal process over from scratch, with a new hearing before the Virginia justices scheduled for October 21. A new written opinion will then emerge sometime thereafter. It is wholly speculative as to whether the court will reach the same outcome as its original 5-2 decision.
Watch this blog for further developments in this case. But regardless of how this particular lawsuit ultimately turns out, reckless drivers continue to pose a threat to both motorists and passengers of all ages throughout the state of Virginia. If you–or someone you love–have been injured in an automobile accident, do not hesitate to get in touch with the Personal Injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC. for a no-obligation consultation, Toll Free 877-544-5323