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Sleepover liability case settles for $1.75 million

A Henrico County judge has approved a $1.75-million settlement in the controversial case involving the death of a teenage girl during a visit with a friend.

The money comes from the homeowners’ insurance carrier for parents of the victim’s friend. The parents were hosting a sleepover visit when they allowed the two girls to ride with a teenage boy who then crashed his car, killing 14-year-old Jaimee Kellermann.

In his lawsuit, Jaimee’s father alleged he told the host parents, “No boys with cars.” Despite her assent to that request, the mother of Jaimee’s friend allegedly permitted her daughter to ride with the boy, which left Jaimee no choice but to go along.

The case produced an opinion from the Supreme Court of Virginia that a parent who agrees to supervise and care for a child has a common law duty to do so with reasonable care. The court’s ruling sent the case back to Henrico County Circuit Court for trial. The trial had been scheduled for July.

Mark Krudys, one of the lawyers for the Kellermann family, said the family’s hope is the case will bring attention to the responsibility that adults have towards children in their care and the risks of teenagers driving with multiple teenage passengers.

Krudys represented the Kellermanns along with Stephen Bricker. David Corrigan represented the defendants, Paul and Paula McDonough.

By Peter Vieth

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