Parents of teen-ager killed in accident sue driver's parents

February 26, 1993|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Staff Writer

The parents of a Loyola High School student killed in a `D drunken-driving accident last June are suing the parents of the teen-ager who gave their son a ride.

The suit claims the driver's parents should have known their son would be drinking the weekend of the accident because school had ended for the summer.

Pamela and Thomas F. O'Neil Jr., of the 300 block of Thornhill Road in Homeland, are seeking $1 million in compensatory damages from each parent, plus another $1 million in punitive damages on a wrongful death claim. The suit was filed on Feb. 18 in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

A second count alleges that their son, Christopher Gerard O'Neil, then 17, suffered before he died. That count seeks $350,000 in damages on behalf of his estate, said Marc Seldin Rosen, who is representing the O'Neils.

Christopher O'Neil apparently was trying to beat a midnight curfew June 12 when he accepted a ride from Adam Hart Confer, 17, of the 14300 block of Dairydale Road in Baldwin.

At 11:55 p.m., young Confer's 1990 Nissan Sentra ran off a curve along Jerome Jay Drive near Oregon Ridge.

The car flipped over a bridge barrier, ejecting the O'Neil youth as it sailed 64 feet before dropping into a streambed.

Christopher O'Neil, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at the scene. Adam Confer and a female passenger were taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center and released the next day.

Adam Confer was charged as a juvenile. On Nov. 4, he was found delinquent for vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated and speeding.

He was ordered to undergo alcohol counseling.

The suit says Michael V. and Leslie Confer were "aware that their son habitually consumed alcohol" and "owed a duty to others, including Christopher Gerard O'Neil, to refrain from entrusting their motor vehicle to Adam Confer, particularly on a Friday night at the end of the school year when there was an increased probability that Adam Confer would drive under the influence of alcohol and cause injury to third persons."

Mrs. Confer said her family did not wish to comment on the suit.

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