Singer-actress Brandy Norwood, shown in June 2006 in Los Angeles, has been sued by the family of a woman who died in a four-vehicle car crash. ((Lucas Jackson/Associated Press))

The family of a woman killed in a crash last December has sued singer-actress Brandy,who was driving one of four cars involved in theaccident,for $50 million US.

The parents of Awatef Aboudihaj, 38, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday against the entertainer, whose real name is Brandy Norwood.

On Monday, the California Highway Patrol recommended Brandy be charged with misdemeanour vehicular manslaughter. The prosecutor's office has not yet decided whether charges will be laid.

Brandy has been recording since 1994 and issued herfourth album, Afrodisiac, in 2004. She was star of the TV comedy Moesha and last year served on the judging panel for NBC's America's Got Talent.

Aboudihaj was killed when her vehicle slammed into a third car, careened into the freeway's centre divider and was hit broad side by a fourth automobile, police said

The lawsuit alleges Brandy's "reckless driving" was at fault inthe death.

Brandy contacts family through publicist

Brandy expressed condolences to the victim's family last week, in a statement issued by her publicist.

Police said alcohol and drugs were not a factor, and there is no evidence Brandy was using a cellphone at the time of the accident.

She was driving a Land Rover and was alone in the car.

The police recommended a misdeamenour offence, saying she failed to prevent her car from hitting the car in front of her.

A misdemeanour offence is less serious than a felony charge, andcarries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The recommendation of a misdemeanour charge means prosecutors determined that the death did not result from gross negligence, a spokesman for the city attorney said.

With files from the Associated Press