March 03, 2021

A Virginia federal judge ruled Wednesday that the family of Harry Dunn can pursue liability claims against the husband of a U.S. Department of State employee, whose wife was charged for allegedly striking and killing the 19-year-old motorcyclist in the United Kingdom.

Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III rejected defense attorneys' bid to block the family from bringing their "vicarious liability" claims against Jonathan Sacoolas, the husband of Anne Sacoolas.

Vicarious liability means that one party can also be held responsible for the unlawful action of a third party. Anne Sacoolas, a Virginia resident, was living in the U.K. with her husband and three kids when the accident occurred in August 2019. She was driving her Volvo SUV on the wrong side of the road and collided with Dunn on his motorcycle, according to the complaint.

While Anne Sacoolas had a cellphone on her, she didn't call an ambulance or otherwise seek medical help for Dunn, the complaint also alleged. A passerby who arrived shortly after the accident called an ambulance, the suit said. When paramedics arrived, Dunn was conscious, breathing and spoke to them but he later died at a hospital.

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The Dunn family is represented by Steven J. Toll, Agnieszka M. Fryszman, Theodore J. Leopold, Leslie M. Kroeger and Poorad Razavi of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

The complete article can be accessed here.