"In no way was Mr. Squillaciotti's act of shooting another driver a normal consequence of driving into the lane of travel of another vehicle," McNulty wrote in a motion to dismiss the case. "Mr. Squillaciotti is the proximate cause of her alleged emotional distress, not her own father."
McNulty also argued that the alleged harm to the plaintiff is so remote from the actions of the defendant, that the defendant cannot be found legally responsible.
A judge in Philadelphia's Common Pleas Court denied the motion and the case has now moved to discovery, but is not expected to go to trial for more than a year.
Even more surprising, perhaps, than the decision to sue her own father, Kaitlyn's suit doesn't name his shooter, Christian Squilliacotti. While he may seem the most obvious target for a lawsuit, Squillaciotti -- who was convicted of two counts of attempted murder and weapons charges and is currently serving a 13- to 26-year jail term -- has no assets, and his insurance would actually not apply because the shooting was intentional. The former Marine has also been diagnosed wtih schizophrenia.
The suit does name his wife and passenger, Chastity Squillaciotti. as a defendant, climing that she bears some responsibility because she knew about her husband's mental health issues, but neglected to prevent him getting behind the wheel while aggravated.
"Clearly she knows her husband's got problems, and she's sitting in the car while he's driving," Culleton said. "We need to explore whether she should have done something, whether she could have done something."
Christian Squillaciotti told police that following Timko's hand gesture, he heard voices urging him to kill the man, saying, "Kill him, kill that motherf-----," just seconds before he opened fire into the car.
Police said they found numerous weapons at Squillaciotti's home; but that Squillaciotti did have a gun permit. Culleton said the family hasn't ruled out a law suit against whoever was responsible for granting Squillaciotti's permit, but the investigation into those circumstances is still ongoing.
"We are still in the early stages of discovery and have not yet learned the exact circumstances of how the shooter obtained the permit or whether the permit was even valid at the time of the shooting," he said.
The Philadelphia Police Department, which handled the Squillaciotti case, has not yet commented on the status of that investigation.
In the meantime, Kaitlyn will press forward with what may at first seem the unprecedented step of suing her own father, a man who was critically injured by the incident in question.
But children suing parents for a trauma they believe the parent caused isn't as rare as you might think. Not only does it happen, but the parents are sometimes to a certain extent complicit, despite being defendants in the suit.
In 2007, Teddy Harrison of Anoka County, Minn., successfully sued his parents over a car crash in 2001 that left him permanently disabled. Harrison's parents were willing defendants, as their attorney Robert King explained to The Associated Press at the time.
"This suit is about forcing the parents' insurance company to live up to its responsibility," King told the AP.
As a result of the suit, the Harrisons' auto insurance company was forced to pay Teddy $100,000, money that contributed to his ongoing care.