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Monday, November 08, 2010


Unbelievable. That could happen to any of us. Or, that's why I live in the 'burbs with sidewalks!

Quite interesting! I look forward to hearing the outcome. I understand the outrage of suing a child that young, however, I can see someone considering negligence from the parents in allowing children to ride bikes on crowded Manhatten sidewalks where accidents with injury could be highly possible.

The old standard under the common law was, "a bad dog's first bite is 'free'." In a community where one may not have known every dog in town it was impossible to avoid the bad ones or even for an owner to know if her dog would attack a person unprovoked, but once a dog bit somebody then it was the dog's owner and keeper who was responsible for the torts of the dog in future. This present case does not quite fit into this old common law cubby hole, since bad dogs and 4-year old bike riders are not the same kind of tortfeasors. So I guess the facts should be tried in court by a jury of 12 good people and true. I'll trust the fine people of New York County to decide what the standards are for the oversight of one's child to avoid injury to other persons or damage to the property of others. There will be no solution in this particular case that will satisfy the moral and familial sensitivities of everybody.

"We live in a litigious society. If someone thinks he or she has been wronged and someone else could pay the bill, often that person will sue."

This is good, to a point, but it's also sad and crippling. While you're right that all the court has done is agreed to let this go to trial, it's still rather pathetic. I have a 6 year old son (6 and a half years to be more exact) and I can say with a great degree of confidence that it's just not right to blame a child for negligence. THEY'RE ALL NEGLIGENT. They're kids. That's just part of their person.

Maybe I missed the point here, but I just don't see how something like this can even make it to court.

Well said, Dad!

No, I don't think you missed the point. I agree with you, and the court may also agree. But the lower trial court has to look at the law and cannot make a decision based on its opinion. The law in this case showed that as far back as 1928, a child as young as 4 had been brought to court in a civil action. Therefore, this court had no choice, but to allow the suit to go forward to trial. There is a question of fact remaining. It's unfortunate that Menagh's Estate decided to bring suit against these kids.
Thanks for your thoughts on this issue!

Funny that the person above signed as "me" because this me was going to say the exact same thing. I also have a 6-year-old and agree that everything they do is negligent in a manor of speaking.

I get that the court had no choice in this matter because of precedent but how the heck did such a ridiculous precedent get set in the first place?

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