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British family files lawsuit against wife of US official over fatal accident

British family files lawsuit against wife of US official over fatal accident
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The family of a British national who was killed in a motor accident in the United Kingdom by the American wife of a U.S. diplomat is suing the family in U.S. federal court, the next move in a case that has tested the alliance between America and Britain.

The family of Harry Dunn, the 19-year-old killed in the accident in August 2019, filed a federal lawsuit against Anne Sacoolas in the U.S., The Washington Post reported. The lawsuit claims wrongful death and seeks financial damages.

The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court in Virginia, the Post reported, with Sacoolas residing in Northern Virginia.

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The escalation of a lawsuit in the U.S. follows a move by British prosecutors in December to file charges against Sacoolas, who in the August accident was driving her husband's car on the wrong side of the road when she struck and killed Dunn on his motorcycle.

The family named Jonathan Sacoolas, Anne’s husband, as a co-defendant in the lawsuit, the Post reported, for owning the vehicle.

Sacoolas, whose husband was working with the U.S. military at the Royal Air Force Croughton base in northwest England, left the U.K. shortly after the accident.

The U.S. refused an extradition request in January by British prosecutors, with the State Department claiming Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity because of her husband’s work.

U.K. Foreign Minister Dominc Raab said the extradition rejection was a “denial of justice,” Reuters reported at the time.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo warns any arms sales to Iran will result in sanctions as embargo expires Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of missile strike that killed at least 13 MORE said in an interview with British radio in January that the U.S. was “going to do everything we can to get this right,” in a response to a question on whether Sacoolsa would be extradited to England.

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“We can never put it all the way back, sadly, but we’ll do everything we can to put this in the best possible place,” he said.

In July, the U.S. and U.K. reached an agreement to close the loophole that allowed Sacoolsa to avoid British charges, allowing for the criminal prosecution of family members of American staff working at the Croughton military base, Reuters reported.