Lawsuit filed against lottery jackpot winner

Saturday, March 12, 2005

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The businessman who won the nation's richest undivided lottery jackpot was sued Friday by the father of a teenager who died of a drug overdose at his home in September.

The wrongful death lawsuit said Jesse Joe Tribble was led astray by Jack Whittaker's late granddaughter, and it said he should have exercised more control over her since she was in his custody. Whittaker promised to fight the case by Tribble's father, Jimmy Tribble.

Tribble, 18, was found dead Sept. 17 at Whittaker's home in Scott Depot.

Trouble has dogged the already-wealthy Whittaker since he won the $314.9 million Powerball jackpot on Christmas Day 2002, taking his winnings in a $113 million lump sum.

Among the problems, Whittaker was arrested twice for drunken driving, and his home and his vehicles have been hit with a rash of break-ins.

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