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A 4 year old is being sued for negligence

CasedOutCasedOut Registered User
edited November 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
This is the story

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/nyregion/29young.html?_r=1&no_interstitial


In summary, a 4 year old girl was riding her bike and crashed into an elderly woman, supposedly causing her to fall down and fracture her hip. The 4 year old girl is now being sued for negligence.

Do you think this is litigation gone wild? What do you think should happen to the girl? How should the situation have been resolved?

CasedOut on
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  • Typhoid MannyTyphoid Manny Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    CasedOut wrote: »
    This is the story

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/nyregion/29young.html?_r=1&no_interstitial


    In summary, a 4 year old girl was riding her bike and crashed into an elderly woman, supposedly causing her to fall down and fracture her hip. The 4 year old girl is now being sued for negligence.

    Do you think this is litigation gone wild? What do you think should happen to the girl? How should the situation have been resolved?

    if four-year-olds can be sued for negligence, then they should also be able to vote and drive and drink beer.

    OH YOU KNOWWWWWWW
    YOU KNOWWWWW
    DEM BILLS, DEY WAS GREAS'D
    AND SO LOW, ON DOWN
    LOW, I DID FELL

    torches and hammers and metal, oh my
  • theSquidtheSquid Sydney, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    You should be able to sue anyone.

    After a brief summary, the judge should in turn be able to call the old lady a psychotic douchenozzle for wasting his/her time.

    Tea is always on topic.
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Seems like there's an age minimum for the possibility of negligence, and the girl was over it, so it's possible for her to be found negligent. Highly unlikely, but if you have the minimum, no point in disregarding it just because it's a close call.

    It's just a denial of a motion to dismiss, looks like; the girl still could win on summary judgment, and there's no way a jury would find a 4-year-old liable.

    edit:
    theSquid wrote: »
    You should be able to sue anyone.

    After a brief summary, the judge should in turn be able to call the old lady a psychotic douchenozzle for wasting his/her time.

    The article says she died a few months later from unrelated causes.

  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    It sounds like the lawyer for the family is arguing that the kid can't be held responsible because her parent was present, but also that the parent can't be held responsible because she was only "supervising" and not actually involved in the child's actions.

    Also, if the four year old is found liable, I'm pretty sure the parents will be paying for it, not the child. Nothing is going to happen to the kid

  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Already said in the article that the judge didn't find her liable, but just allowed the suit to move forward.

    Someone obviously has to pay, but since the parent was there, I'd assume the parent would be held responsible. I think the judge is completely wrong in his estimation of child intelligence. Because you can, say, be taught by rote to look both ways before crossing the street doesn't mean you're smart or responsible.

    Shit, my parents taught me pretty good, and I still have tons of scars on my head because I was a clumsy, carefree ignorant when I was a kid, outside of those very specific instances where I had been taught to do 'x' in situation 'y.'

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  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    yeah seems like a really backdoor way of trying to sue the parents for something you can't possibly consider their fault

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    In their defense, the 4 year old was being kind of a dick.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • SeolSeol Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Dac wrote: »
    Someone obviously has to pay,
    Why?

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Seol wrote: »
    Dac wrote: »
    Someone obviously has to pay,
    Why?

    yeah sorry this seems to be a very strange mentality that i have a hard time understanding

    it's part of the American culture of litigiousness i can't wrap my noggin' around

    this idea that someone has to pay when someone else is hurt, mentally or physically

    sometimes, accidents happen!

    sometimes, a four year old child is careless and foolish in a way that gets someone hurt

    and that just happens

    sometimes, there are just accidents where you can't reasonably fault anyone involved for what happened

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Yeah, sometimes accidents happen where no one was at fault.

    Whether this is one of those will be up to a jury. All the judge has said is that, as a matter of law, the claim can go forward. He might find in the next round that, given the facts of this specific case, no reasonable jury could find the girl liable, at which point the suit would stop (unless they appealed).

  • theSquidtheSquid Sydney, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Pony wrote: »
    Seol wrote: »
    Dac wrote: »
    Someone obviously has to pay,
    Why?

    yeah sorry this seems to be a very strange mentality that i have a hard time understanding

    it's part of the American culture of litigiousness i can't wrap my noggin' around

    this idea that someone has to pay when someone else is hurt, mentally or physically

    sometimes, accidents happen!

    sometimes, a four year old child is careless and foolish in a way that gets someone hurt

    and that just happens

    sometimes, there are just accidents where you can't reasonably fault anyone involved for what happened

    This.

    Shit happens.

    Tea is always on topic.
  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Aaron Hernandez shot me through the heartRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Somebody is always at fault for someone elses injury.

    The next time I trip on an uneven sidewalk I'm suing the city for greenlighting the design and the contractor for making it. I'm suing for gazillions, or 10 minutes worth of access to their money pile they have in a vault.

    Spoiler:
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    pretty sure an American is the originator of the phrase "shit happens" and yet

    as a culture (as opposed to individuals)

    they seem incapable of not finding someone to sue when something bad happens to people

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Pony wrote: »
    pretty sure an American is the originator of the phrase "shit happens" and yet

    as a culture (as opposed to individuals)

    they seem incapable of not finding someone to sue when something bad happens to people

    We're big fans of things being Someone Else's Problem.

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    pretty sure an American is the originator of the phrase "shit happens" and yet

    as a culture (as opposed to individuals)

    they seem incapable of not finding someone to sue when something bad happens to people

    We're big fans of things being Someone Else's Problem.

    yeah what is up with that

    it's a cultural thing i don't understand

    as a Canadian (an Ontarian, specifically), i'm incredibly similar to a east coast American in culture

    yet the American culture of litigiousness that is spurred by the mindset that it's always someone else's fault is something i continue to be mystified by

    i'm not saying frivolous or insane lawsuits don't happen in Canada, of course they do

    but

  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The UK government was looking into this recently
    This culture creates a climate of fear and encourages organisations to attempt to eliminate all risk, even though this is an unattainable goal. Furthermore, a blame culture has developed in which, rather than accepting that accidents can and do happen, somebody must always be at fault and financial recompense is seen to make good any injury.

    It recommends putting clamping down on claims management and personal injury litigation firms, restricting the claims they can make in their advertising, and capping the costs that they are able to claim (essentially by raising the limits on what constitutes a "small claim" in the civil courts).

  • DaxonDaxon Registered User
    edited October 2010
    japan wrote: »
    The UK government was looking into this recently
    This culture creates a climate of fear and encourages organisations to attempt to eliminate all risk, even though this is an unattainable goal. Furthermore, a blame culture has developed in which, rather than accepting that accidents can and do happen, somebody must always be at fault and financial recompense is seen to make good any injury.

    It recommends putting clamping down on claims management and personal injury litigation firms, restricting the claims they can make in their advertising, and capping the costs that they are able to claim (essentially by raising the limits on what constitutes a "small claim" in the civil courts).

    This.. this is glorious.

    A 4 year old being sued is the most ridiculous thing I've heard all week.

  • The Muffin ManThe Muffin Man Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I can only imagine her lawyers defense.
    "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. SHE'S FOUR.

    Thank you, your honor."

    shamanhealingwave.jpgabilitypaladinshieldofv.png
  • ResRes __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2010
    CasedOut wrote: »
    This is the story

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/nyregion/29young.html?_r=1&no_interstitial


    In summary, a 4 year old girl was riding her bike and crashed into an elderly woman, supposedly causing her to fall down and fracture her hip. The 4 year old girl is now being sued for negligence.

    Do you think this is litigation gone wild? What do you think should happen to the girl? How should the situation have been resolved?

    if four-year-olds can be sued for negligence, then they should also be able to vote and drive and drink beer.

    And have sex.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Daxon wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    The UK government was looking into this recently
    This culture creates a climate of fear and encourages organisations to attempt to eliminate all risk, even though this is an unattainable goal. Furthermore, a blame culture has developed in which, rather than accepting that accidents can and do happen, somebody must always be at fault and financial recompense is seen to make good any injury.

    It recommends putting clamping down on claims management and personal injury litigation firms, restricting the claims they can make in their advertising, and capping the costs that they are able to claim (essentially by raising the limits on what constitutes a "small claim" in the civil courts).

    This.. this is glorious.

    A 4 year old being sued is the most ridiculous thing I've heard all week.

    It's worth reading the whole thing, there's some interesting stuff in there:
    http://www.number10.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/402906_CommonSense_acc.pdf

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Res wrote: »
    CasedOut wrote: »
    This is the story

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/nyregion/29young.html?_r=1&no_interstitial


    In summary, a 4 year old girl was riding her bike and crashed into an elderly woman, supposedly causing her to fall down and fracture her hip. The 4 year old girl is now being sued for negligence.

    Do you think this is litigation gone wild? What do you think should happen to the girl? How should the situation have been resolved?

    if four-year-olds can be sued for negligence, then they should also be able to vote and drive and drink beer.

    And have sex.

    Res, ladies and gentlemen.

  • ResRes __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2010
    I'm jussayin'.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Looks like this little girl is going to have to surrender her Halloween candy and Christmas gifts for the next few decades if she loses.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit." - @Ludious
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  • SeolSeol Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    furthermore, this is her estate that's suing. the old lady died 3 months later from unrelated causes. who's being compensated here?

  • DangerousDangerous Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    "No jury in the world is going to convict a baby!....Maybe Texas"

    sig2-2.jpg
  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Seol wrote: »
    furthermore, this is her estate that's suing. the old lady died 3 months later from unrelated causes. who's being compensated here?

    The bereaved, of course.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit." - @Ludious
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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    There was a case a while back where a child sued its parents, after being accidentally run over in the driveway by its father. The child wasn't seeking compensation from its own parents with the suit though really, it was still living at home, the suit was simply a way to get the parents' insurance company to pay out. Something tells me this is a similar case.

    h1DI1.jpg
    All my fuckin life I lived a normal fuckin life
  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    There was a case a while back where a child sued its parents, after being accidentally run over in the driveway by its father. The child wasn't seeking compensation from its own parents with the suit though really, it was still living at home, the suit was simply a way to get the parents' insurance company to pay out. Something tells me this is a similar case.

    Holy crap what. Can you dig up that story? The parents weren't a-holes, right? It was just the insurance company?

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit." - @Ludious
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  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    insurance companies are completely insane, especially in the US where trying to get health insurance to cover anything is a fucking nightmare

  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Henroid wrote: »
    There was a case a while back where a child sued its parents, after being accidentally run over in the driveway by its father. The child wasn't seeking compensation from its own parents with the suit though really, it was still living at home, the suit was simply a way to get the parents' insurance company to pay out. Something tells me this is a similar case.

    Holy crap what. Can you dig up that story? The parents weren't a-holes, right? It was just the insurance company?

    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/midwest/2007/01/08/75668.htm

    I remembered it slightly different, it was about a car accident.

    h1DI1.jpg
    All my fuckin life I lived a normal fuckin life
  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Henroid wrote: »
    There was a case a while back where a child sued its parents, after being accidentally run over in the driveway by its father. The child wasn't seeking compensation from its own parents with the suit though really, it was still living at home, the suit was simply a way to get the parents' insurance company to pay out. Something tells me this is a similar case.

    Holy crap what. Can you dig up that story? The parents weren't a-holes, right? It was just the insurance company?

    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/midwest/2007/01/08/75668.htm

    I remembered it slightly different, it was about a car accident.

    Definitely gonna hold onto that link, that's pretty weird.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit." - @Ludious
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  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    @the stuff earlier (I had to go drop someone off at work)

    I'm obviously not a legal expert

    And yeah, I recognize that accidents can and do happen

    And yes, it would be nice if the lady hadn't sued

    But

    I think she was within her right. It's just the target that doesn't make sense - it should be the parent who was 'supervising.' It's easy for us to say 'lol shit happens' from an impersonal distance, but that's a fractured hip, and the woman was old to begin with. That's a pretty serious injury, especially when even going under the knife can be dangerous - especially at that age.

    I'm assuming the case was brought up while the woman was still alive and it's just being allowed to move forward now. If it was started after she was dead, though, uh... That'd be pretty dickish, I'll admit. And it's probably dickish that they haven't let it drop because really, the family isn't suffering anymore because of Claire's fractured hip.

    Again, I want to reiterate that I don't think the target is right, but I think there's enough legal precedent for her to have sought recompense of some type. It would be nice if people turned the other cheek more, but that's not the world most US citizens live in.

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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    People are entitled to recompense for injuries incurred as a result of another's negligence.

    I think the woman would have been within her rights to sue, but I really can't see how it would be possible to spin negligence out of the circumstances reported. So basically, I think she would, and her estate will, probably lose, or at least I hope so unless there is some extra facet to the story that isn't being reported.

    This is generally how the system is supposed to work, but I personally (and this is based on my experience of the UK legal system, I don't really know how the US system works) think it wouldn't hurt if there was less incentive for these things to run to litigation in instances where it doesn't seem likely that it will be successful.

  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I like the idea that Westminster is looking into this - I also like that the report said " 'elf 'n' safety" is also often a beatup in the media.

    In NZ we have a neat thing called ACC - basically a state insurance company/department that is funded by compulsory levies on all sorts of relevant things (say car registration), employers etc that is intended to compensate anyone who suffers injury from an accident. In exchange for the comprehensive cover, no one is allowed to sue for personal injury. It works pretty dammed well and there is no way I'd trade that for a litigious system like the UK or the US

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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Kalkino wrote: »
    I like the idea that Westminster is looking into this - I also like that the report said " 'elf 'n' safety" is also often a beatup in the media.

    In NZ we have a neat thing called ACC - basically a state insurance company/department that is funded by compulsory levies on all sorts of relevant things (say car registration), employers etc that is intended to compensate anyone who suffers injury from an accident. In exchange for the comprehensive cover, no one is allowed to sue for personal injury. It works pretty dammed well and there is no way I'd trade that for a litigious system like the UK or the US

    The solution being proposed for the UK is a fixed cost scheme similar to the new scheme for RTA injury claims, which is actually a pretty good scheme, my only real beef with it being the fifteen day timetable, which is really tight. Also increasing the limits within which a claim will fall under the fixed-cost scheme, which should theoretically have the effect of disincentivising solicitors from pursuing litigation with a poor chance of success, in the hope that the defendant (which is invariably an insurance company of one kind or another) will offer some kind of settlement on economic grounds.

    The idea is basically to rearrange the economics of the situation a little such that it is actually economically justifiable to defend against claims where liability is on the shaky side but the litigant is persistent.

  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    japan wrote: »
    Kalkino wrote: »
    I like the idea that Westminster is looking into this - I also like that the report said " 'elf 'n' safety" is also often a beatup in the media.

    In NZ we have a neat thing called ACC - basically a state insurance company/department that is funded by compulsory levies on all sorts of relevant things (say car registration), employers etc that is intended to compensate anyone who suffers injury from an accident. In exchange for the comprehensive cover, no one is allowed to sue for personal injury. It works pretty dammed well and there is no way I'd trade that for a litigious system like the UK or the US

    The solution being proposed for the UK is a fixed cost scheme similar to the new scheme for RTA injury claims, which is actually a pretty good scheme, my only real beef with it being the fifteen day timetable, which is really tight. Also increasing the limits within which a claim will fall under the fixed-cost scheme, which should theoretically have the effect of disincentivising solicitors from pursuing litigation with a poor chance of success, in the hope that the defendant (which is invariably an insurance company of one kind or another) will offer some kind of settlement on economic grounds.

    The idea is basically to rearrange the economics of the situation a little such that it is actually economically justifiable to defend against claims where liability is on the shaky side but the litigant is persistent.

    Right, that would be pretty interesting as it mostly is an economic decision at present right from PI to employment. A lot of people would love to fight the employment actions, as it often gets very personal, but usually they see sense from an economic viewpoint and take a step back

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • UnknownSaintUnknownSaint Registered User
    edited October 2010
    If you look at it without this specific example in mind, it's a sound principle that in an accident where someone was acting negligently, the victim should not be the one to end up paying for their injury. Even in cases where there's no negligence but someone is still at fault, it's not fair for the victim to pay for it. It's a decent principle and not really a controversial one.

    What makes it weird with this case is that we don't find the girl negligent because she's so young as to be incapable of such a thing, but that shouldn't magically make it so the victim/victim's family who had to no doubt pay money for this accident at some point while she was alive goes uncompensated. This is a little bit of a grey area, but the girl's parents should almost certainly be liable here.

  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited October 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Seems like there's an age minimum for the possibility of negligence, and the girl was over it, so it's possible for her to be found negligent. Highly unlikely, but if you have the minimum, no point in disregarding it just because it's a close call.

    It's just a denial of a motion to dismiss, looks like; the girl still could win on summary judgment, and there's no way a jury would find a 4-year-old liable.

    edit:
    theSquid wrote: »
    You should be able to sue anyone.

    After a brief summary, the judge should in turn be able to call the old lady a psychotic douchenozzle for wasting his/her time.

    The article says she died a few months later from unrelated causes.

    At that age, the unrelated causes were very likely triggered by fracturing her hip.

    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    America, why do you do this to me.

    I love you, baby. I really do.

    I want to be with you.

    But, Baby..You gotta stop actin all shitbat crazy. If you can't do this for me, for yourself..

    Then I'm just gonna go lay up with that sane chick with the cute accent next door.

    What sane judge can OK a negligence lawsuit againts a 4 year old.

    Are they going to seize her training wheels? Garnish her weekly candy allowance?

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Seems like there's an age minimum for the possibility of negligence, and the girl was over it, so it's possible for her to be found negligent. Highly unlikely, but if you have the minimum, no point in disregarding it just because it's a close call.

    It's just a denial of a motion to dismiss, looks like; the girl still could win on summary judgment, and there's no way a jury would find a 4-year-old liable.

    edit:
    theSquid wrote: »
    You should be able to sue anyone.

    After a brief summary, the judge should in turn be able to call the old lady a psychotic douchenozzle for wasting his/her time.

    The article says she died a few months later from unrelated causes.

    At that age, the unrelated causes were very likely triggered by fracturing her hip.

    That is the exact opposite of what "unrelated" means.

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