Father of Park City teen who overdosed countersues parents of other deceased youth
The father of one of two 13-year-old Park City friends who died of drug overdoses in 2016 has filed a countersuit after the other teen’s parents sued him for negligence in their son’s death.
Robert Ainsworth, the father of Ryan Ainsworth, who died after ingesting the synthetic opioid U-47700, or pink, in September of 2016, filed the countersuit Wednesday in 3rd District Court in Summit County. The lawsuit claims the parents of Grant Seaver, who overdosed on U-47700 two days prior, should have known Ryan Ainsworth was “similarly at risk of overdose,” given the “close association” between the two teens. The suit claims James and Deborah Seaver were negligent after their son’s death in failing to warn Robert Ainsworth of the danger.
Robert Ainsworth is seeking relief for medical and funeral expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering and loss of companionship and emotional support, among other things.
The lawsuit comes after the Seavers in March sued Ryan Ainsworth’s parents and the parents of two teens prosecutors say were involved in procuring the U-47700 via the dark web. The Seaver lawsuit alleges their son’s death was due to negligence on behalf of the defendants, and that the other parents “knew or should have known their minor children were involved in the procurement, use, and distribution of dangerous and lethal drugs, including the distribution of these drugs to (Grant Seaver) and other minor children.”
The defendants had an obligation to inform the Seavers, law enforcement officials and other community leaders of their children’s involvement in drugs, according to the lawsuit. The Seavers are seeking more than $300,000 in damages.
A hearing regarding motions to dismiss the Seaver lawsuit is scheduled to take place in October, according to court documents.
The Ainsworth lawsuit references the allegations in the lawsuit filed by the Seavers.
“If, as the Seavers allege in the Seaver Complaint, Mr. Ainsworth and others owed a duty to warn the Seavers of facts and circumstances regarding illicit drug use that may have allowed them to intervene and prevent (Grant Seaver’s) overdose, then the Seavers similarly owed a duty to Mr. Ainsworth and to (Ryan Ainsworth) to warn of facts and circumstances known to them after their son’s death in order that Mr. Ainsworth could take additional protective measures to save (Ryan Ainsworth),” the lawsuit states.
Steve Dougherty, an attorney for Robert Ainsworth, said the lawsuit is a defense to the Seaver lawsuit and was filed Wednesday because of the expiration of a two-year statute of limitations on such litigation. An attorney for the Seavers did not respond to a request for comment.
The Seavers are also suing companies they claim were involved in selling and shipping the U-47700 that killed the teens. The estate of the founder of a now-defunct dark web market and a company whose software provides access to the dark web are among the defendants. The Seavers in that suit are seeking damages in excess of $10 million.
The arsenic-and-lead-containing soil has been a contentious issue for the district, which piled it onto the junior high campus in actions that were later discovered to be in violation of a covenant with the Environmental Protection Agency.
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