Parents Bring Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Anne Sacoolas and Demand
Answers Despite President Trump’s Attempt to Intervene
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VIRGINIA – Nearly a year after losing their son, the parents of a 19-year-old man killed by the wife of an American citizen employed by the United States Department of Defense filed a lawsuit today seeking to hold the driver accountable for her negligent driving and post-accident conduct.
Harry Dunn was killed on August 27, 2019, in Croughton, Northamptonshire, England, when he was hit by a car driven by Anne Sacoolas, who was driving on the wrong side of the road. Sacoolas is married to an American official working at the Royal Air Force base in Croughton. Despite her initial promise to cooperate with the British police in the investigation, Sacoolas fled the U.K. only a few weeks after the incident without notifying the local police, asserted diplomatic immunity and refused to return to face the justice system in Britain. Meanwhile, Dunn’s parents were not made aware of her departure from the U.K. until after Sacoolas had already returned to the U.S.
The lawsuit brought today by Harry’s parents Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn and his twin brother Niall Dunn, seeks to learn the truth about Dunn’s death and brings civil charges for wrongful death and conscious pain and suffering against Sacoolas and her husband, who also owns the car, for causing their son’s death.
“Fighting for justice for Harry has been and will remain our number one priority because of a promise we made to him the night we lost him,” said Charlotte Charles, Harry Dunn’s mother. “What's unfathomable is that our son has been gone for almost a year without us learning the truth and without Anne Sacoolas facing the consequences in a court of law. We have simple asks -- we want the truth and justice for our beloved Harry.”
“Given Ms. Sacoolas’ refusal to return to the U.K., we look forward to bringing this case to a jury of Anne Sacoolas’ peers here in the United States,” said Agnieszka Fryszman, a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, chair of the firm’s Human Rights practice group and the leading attorney for Harry’s family. “Seeing Harry’s lovely parents and twin brother suffer so much heartbreak makes our push for justice for Harry even more important.”
Sacoolas, who had a cellphone with her at the scene, did not call the police to report the accident nor call an ambulance for Dunn. Instead, she left Dunn to suffer as he lay face down on the side of the road, fully conscious with multiple broken bones, including open fractures on both legs and both arms and extensive internal injuries. It was only when a passerby came upon the scene that an ambulance was called.
After further investigation, the British Crown Prosecution Service charged Sacoolas with causing Dunn’s death by dangerous driving, but she has refused to return to the U.K. to face Britain’s justice system. The U.K. government made an extradition request to the United States, which was denied. The State Department described the denial as final.
When paramedics arrived, Dunn was conscious and able to speak with them. He was able to tell them that Sacoolas had been driving on the wrong side of the road and that she hit him with her SUV. Tragically, Dunn died shortly after arriving at the hospital as a result of the catastrophic injuries he suffered in the accident.
In October 2019, Dunn’s parents traveled to the U.S., seeking justice for their son’s death. While in New York, they received a message that President Trump wanted to see them immediately, and they traveled immediately to Washington D.C. to visit the White House. Upon arrival, they were shocked when President Trump informed them that Sacoolas was in the next room and leaned on them to meet with her, which they refused to do without proper legal representation or mental health professionals present.
Dunn’s parents are seeking a trial by jury in Virginia, where the Sacoolas’ are residents. This case is Dunn v. Sacoolas Case in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia.
About Cohen Milstein
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a national leader in plaintiff-side class action litigation. As one of the premier law firms in the country handling major complex lawsuits, Cohen Milstein, with more than 100 attorneys, has offices in Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Palm Beach Gardens, FL; and Raleigh, NC. For more information about the firm, please visit http://www.cohenmilstein.com or call (202) 408-4600.