Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson sued over son's car crash

A person drives negligently and hits another car, injuring someone else. That is a clear-cut case of personal injury, but the plaintiff may have options besides pursuing damages from the driver. Other parties who were not present at the accident scene may also be liable, because of actions (or inactions) that occurred before the crash.

A person involved in a car crash with Chester Hanks last year has sued Hanks' parents, actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, for personal injury. The plaintiff says that the defendants contributed to the crash by allowing Chester Hanks to drive a vehicle that belonged to them.

According to the lawsuit, as reported by KABB-TV, Chester Hanks, also known by his rap persona Chet Haze, was driving "under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol" when he struck the plaintiff. Hanks allegedly begged the plaintiff not to call the police, and Hanks was never charged with a crime. The plaintiff's attorneys say their client suffered a brain injury and whiplash.

The lawsuit says that Tom Hanks and Wilson are also to blame for the collision because they "negligently handed him the keys." It is not clear from the KABB article if the plaintiff believes Hanks and Wilson literally allowed their son to drive while impaired, or more generally gave him access to the car, knowing that he habitually drives under the influence.

Either way, if true, that could potentially constitute negligent disregard for the plaintiff's safety. It would be somewhat similar to a bar or restaurant that overserves alcohol to a customer and allows him or her to drive away.

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