Written by: Heather Chin
(previously published on www.thecelebritycafe.com on March 25, 2008)
Since Hogan’s son is a minor, the injured passenger considers him and estranged wife Linda liable for damages.
According to a report by the AP, Hulk Hogan and estranged wife Linda are being sued by John Graziano, a passenger in the car being driven by Hogan’s son, 17-year-old Nicholas Bollea. Graziano was critically injured in last year’s crash and will require care for the rest of his life.
The civil suit was brought this Monday in reference to the August 26, 2007 car crash in downtown Clearwater, Florida, when the wrestling icon’s son lost control of his Toyota Supra and crashed into a tree. Also named in the suit is Daniel Jacobs, a friend of Nicholas Bollea's and the driver of a Dodge Viper that was engaged in “light to light racing” in the moments before the crash, reports E! News.
Millions of dollars in damages will be sought from Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, as he and his wife are considered accountable for their son’s “reckless and negligent” driving. As Kimberly Kohn, one of the lawyers hired by Graziano’s father, put it, “[The Hogans] not only encouraged it, but they did not take appropriate action to stop it and to protect the safety of the public.”
Graziano, 23, was not wearing a seatbelt, but whether that would have any affect on the terms of his suit is unclear. After the crash, he was semiconscious and left on a ventilator. Although not being held liable in this suit, the teenaged Bollea is facing a criminal charge of reckless driving involving serious bodily injury.
Messages left with Hulk Hogan’s publicist by E! News were not immediately returned.
Hogan is currently one of the hosts of NBC’s revival of the '90s hit, American Gladiators, where contestants compete in athletic challenges, and rose to fame in the past couple of decades for his wrestling exploits with the World Wrestling Federation.