The parents of Kaylie Jackson, the Monroe High School student killed in a prom night car crash, have filed a lawsuit against the 17-year-old Tesla driver and her parents.
The civil wrongful death lawsuit, seeking compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $25,000, was filed June 1, just about one month after the fatal crash that occurred on hilly Millikin Road in Liberty Twp. There is a status hearing coming up in Butler County Common Pleas Court next month, according to court records.
The 17-year-old — who faces aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of aggravated vehicular assault in juvenile court — was driving three classmates to prom when she lost control of the 2013 Tesla and hit a telephone pole, according to the accident report. High speed was a factor in the crash, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
Jackson, 17, who was a backseat passenger that Friday night, was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the car, according to the accident report. She died three days later.
In the lawsuit, Jackson’s parents allege the driver and her parents are “jointly and severally liable” for compensatory and punitive damages because her actions “constitute in whole or in part malicious, reckless, wanton and willful conduct and constituted a conscious disregard for the rights and safety of plaintiffs.”
The teen driver’s parents are named in the lawsuit because they “negligently entrusted” the vehicle to their daughter, according to court documents.
The lawsuit mentions a previous traffic incident involving the young driver. The Journal-News previously reported the teen has a citation through juvenile court for operating a vehicle without a driver’s license.
The Jackson’s attorney, Rick Hyde, also included two insurance companies and “John Does 1-10” in the lawsuit. He told the Journal-News that with two other injured teens involved in the crash, he wanted to make sure he filed the lawsuit first and that it was all inclusive.
“It’s a thorough approach,” he said. “You just want to make sure everything is protected.”
Attorneys for the teen driver and her parents did not return phone calls seeking comment, but both filed motions to have the case dismissed. Both also said punitive damages are inappropriate.
The teen’s criminal trial is set to start Dec. 3.