HOUSTON - The parents of a man who was fatally run down by his wife in a jealous rage two years ago filed a wrongful death lawsuit against their daughter-in-law.
Gerald and Mildred Harris -- who stood by daughter-in-law Clara Harris in the murder trial -- are asking in a lawsuit filed in Harris County district court for a jury trial to determine monetary damages owed them as a result of their son's death. A rift between the couple and Clara Harris developed after her conviction.
Clara Harris, 46, a dentist, was convicted in February 2003 of murder by running over her orthodontist husband, David, with her Mercedes-Benz after finding him with his mistress at a Nassau Bay hotel.
Sentenced to 20 years in prison, she is serving time at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville.
"Gerald Harris Sr. and Mildred Harris seek to recover an amount of money, which, if paid now would fairly and reasonably compensate them as a result of the death of the decedent David L. Harris," the five-page lawsuit filed Monday by Houston attorney Richard T. Howell Jr. said.
The Harrises had until Saturday -- the two-year anniversary of their son's death -- to file the wrongful death lawsuit.
The lawsuit asks for unspecified damages for pain and mental anguish; loss of companionship; pecuniary loss and loss of inheritance. The Harrises also are asking for pre- and post-judgment interest.
Gerald Harris, 74, and his wife, Mildred, 71, filed a similar lawsuit in Galveston County earlier this summer but withdrew it.
Lindsey Harris, 18, David Harris' daughter from a previous marriage, was in the car when he was killed. David and Clara Harris also had twin boys who are now 5.
Soon after Clara Harris' conviction, a Brazoria County judge declared a joint custody agreement of the boys between the grandparents and Clara Harris as void because the boys' court-appointed attorney was not notified.
A custody battle ensued last summer. Clara Harris wanted her neighbors and friends, Pat and Ana Jones, to get custody of the boys while she was in prison. Gerald and Mildred Harris fought the decision but lost.
A judge granted joint custody of the boys to Clara Harris and the Jones' with the grandparents getting visitation rights every other weekend.
Clara Harris said that she wanted the Joneses to raise her sons because they also have 5-year-old twin boys.
While the custody battle was going on, a judge in Galveston County approved the settlement of David Harris' estate with the children getting about $2 million each and Clara Harris retaining about $1.2 million in assets.
- November 25, 2003: Harris' Attorneys File Murder Conviction Appeal
- September 26, 2003: David Harris' Mistress Breaks Her Silence
- September 15, 2003: Custody Decided For Clara Harris' Children
- May 28, 2003: Custody Compromise Reached For Clara Harris' Twins
- May 20, 2003: Clara Harris Speaks Out From Jail
- May 7, 2003: Custody Battle Begins Over Harris Children
- February 20, 2003: Harris' Stepdaughter Sues Hotel, Detective Agency
- February 18, 2003: Hotel Official Fired After Testifying In Clara Harris Trial
- February 17, 2003: Clara Harris Says She Still Loves Her Dead Husband
- February 14, 2003: Jurors Send Clara Harris To Prison
- February 14, 2003: Jury Considers Punishment For Clara Harris
- February 13, 2003: Clara Harris Guilty, Sentencing Begins
- February 12, 2003: Jurors Deliberate Clara Harris Case
- February 12, 2003: Jurors Set To Begin Deliberations In Clara Harris Case
- February 11, 2003: Closing Arguments Wednesday In Harris Trial
- February 11, 2003: Jurors Told To Bring Toothbrushes In Clara Harris Trial
- February 10, 2003: Defense Rests In Clara Harris Trial
- February 10, 2003: Clara Harris Retakes Stand
- February 7, 2003: Harris: Didn't Mean To Run Over Husband
- February 5, 2003: Clara Harris' Attorney Collapses Outside Courtroom
- February 4, 2003: Harris' Lover Testifies About Relationship
- February 4, 2003: Defense Goes After Victim In Clara Harris Case
- January 31, 2003: Collision Expert Testifies About Harris' Death
- January 30, 2003: Accusations Fly After Harris Daughter Testifies
- January 30, 2003: State Rests In Clara Harris Case
- January 29, 2003: Harris' Daughter Testifies: 'She Meant To Kill Him'
- January 29, 2003: Stepdaughter To Testify In Clara Harris' Trial
- January 28, 2003: Harris Cries Uncontrollably, Removed From Trial
- January 27, 2003: Private Investigator Testifies In Clara Harris Trial
- January 27, 2003: Clara Harris Trial Enters Second Week
- January 23, 2003: Witnesses Describe Harris Running Over Husband
- January 22, 2003: Jury Seated In Clara Harris Trial
- January 22, 2003: Jury Selection Continues In Harris' Murder Trial
- January 21, 2003: Jurors To Be Picked For Clara Harris' Trial
- January 16, 2003: Harris' Stepdaughter's Remarks Spark Debate
- November 19, 2002: Audiotapes Allege Clara Harris Also Having Affair
- November 1, 2002: Harris Featured In Magazine Article
- October 18, 2002: Clara Harris Pleads Not Guilty
- October 10, 2002: Grand Jury Indicts Clara Harris
- September 18, 2002: Custody Battle Stems From High-Profile Murder
- August 23, 2002: Clara Harris' Murder Trial Set
- August 2, 2002: Slain Orthodontist's Daughter Files Suit
- July 31, 2002: P.I. Turns Over Video Of Dentist's Death
- July 29, 2002: Judge: Dentist To Remain Free
- July 26, 2002: Wife Free After Allegedly Running Over Husband
- July 25, 2002: Police: Wife Runs Over Cheating Husband
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