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BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..

Lox 30 Oct 10 - 07:42 AM
goatfell 30 Oct 10 - 08:11 AM
Richard Bridge 30 Oct 10 - 09:01 AM
C-flat 30 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,PeterC 30 Oct 10 - 09:14 AM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 10 - 10:01 AM
greg stephens 30 Oct 10 - 10:09 AM
VirginiaTam 30 Oct 10 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM
Ebbie 30 Oct 10 - 11:13 AM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 10 - 11:18 AM
Ebbie 30 Oct 10 - 11:21 AM
jacqui.c 30 Oct 10 - 11:35 AM
Charley Noble 30 Oct 10 - 11:52 AM
gnu 30 Oct 10 - 12:42 PM
C-flat 30 Oct 10 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,999 30 Oct 10 - 01:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 10 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,999 30 Oct 10 - 01:24 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Oct 10 - 01:57 PM
Lox 30 Oct 10 - 02:04 PM
SINSULL 30 Oct 10 - 02:27 PM
JohnInKansas 30 Oct 10 - 02:36 PM
Ebbie 30 Oct 10 - 02:48 PM
akenaton 30 Oct 10 - 02:56 PM
greg stephens 30 Oct 10 - 03:05 PM
Ebbie 30 Oct 10 - 03:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Oct 10 - 03:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Oct 10 - 03:12 PM
gnu 30 Oct 10 - 03:44 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 30 Oct 10 - 03:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Oct 10 - 04:10 PM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Oct 10 - 04:49 PM
Lox 30 Oct 10 - 04:53 PM
gnu 30 Oct 10 - 05:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Oct 10 - 06:24 PM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Oct 10 - 07:11 PM
Slag 30 Oct 10 - 08:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Oct 10 - 08:55 PM
gnu 30 Oct 10 - 09:05 PM
Slag 30 Oct 10 - 09:10 PM
Ebbie 30 Oct 10 - 10:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Oct 10 - 11:09 PM
catspaw49 31 Oct 10 - 12:02 AM
katlaughing 31 Oct 10 - 12:43 AM
Slag 31 Oct 10 - 01:09 AM
Ebbie 31 Oct 10 - 01:39 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Oct 10 - 02:40 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 31 Oct 10 - 03:29 AM
VirginiaTam 31 Oct 10 - 08:03 AM
Anne Lister 31 Oct 10 - 12:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Oct 10 - 01:04 PM
VirginiaTam 31 Oct 10 - 01:19 PM
jacqui.c 31 Oct 10 - 03:26 PM
Art Thieme 31 Oct 10 - 04:14 PM
Lox 31 Oct 10 - 04:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Oct 10 - 07:36 PM
Manitas_at_home 01 Nov 10 - 04:51 AM
Leadfingers 01 Nov 10 - 08:08 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Nov 10 - 09:00 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Nov 10 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,Patsy 01 Nov 10 - 09:08 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Nov 10 - 06:08 PM
andrew e 01 Nov 10 - 09:27 PM
jacqui.c 01 Nov 10 - 11:52 PM
Wolfgang 02 Nov 10 - 04:00 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Nov 10 - 04:14 PM
gnu 02 Nov 10 - 04:32 PM
gnu 02 Nov 10 - 04:56 PM
GUEST 03 Nov 10 - 05:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Nov 10 - 06:01 PM
bubblyrat 03 Nov 10 - 06:04 PM
Manitas_at_home 04 Nov 10 - 06:33 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Nov 10 - 02:27 PM
Manitas_at_home 05 Nov 10 - 04:11 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 05 Nov 10 - 06:57 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Nov 10 - 02:18 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 05 Nov 10 - 02:41 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 05 Nov 10 - 02:49 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 05 Nov 10 - 03:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Nov 10 - 06:01 PM

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Subject: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Lox
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 07:42 AM

.



      Prepare yourselves for this kids ...

      ... my Jaw is on the floor and I don't see myself lifting it off at any time in the forseeable future ...

      A judge has given the go ahead for a 4 year old to be sued for crashing her bike into an old lady.

             Utter Insanity!!



.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: goatfell
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 08:11 AM

There is a 'lady' called Rachael Brown and she too would sue someone for crashing their bike into her.
I agree Utter Insanty


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 09:01 AM

"According to court filings, in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn were accompanied by their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, as they raced their bicycles along the pavement near the East River in New York's Manhattan borough.
'No bright line'

The children struck Ms Menagh, knocking her to the ground. She underwent surgery for a fractured hip and died three months later."

Well, someone ought to be sued. Who do you suggest?


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: C-flat
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 09:03 AM

A broken hip at aged 87 can often have complications and lead to death. One could argue that the next "event" in this womans life would be the cause of her death, a sudden shock, a fall, who knows?
I don't know whether she was in good health at the time, so it's hard to judge, but nevertheless, this was a simple accident. A sad one, especially for the family and for those involved, but, all the same, an accident!
More than that, it was an accident caused by an infant!!!
How a judge can rule that an infant is mature enough to be considered culpable beggars belief!

I'm currently awaiting heart surgery and, as such, not in the best shape at the moment. In fact you could say I was pretty vunerable.
Imagine the scene:
It's Halloween and some local kids come "trick-or-treating" and decide to give me a scare by jumping out from behind a parked car dressed as vampires or whatever.
If a sudden big adrenalin rush pushes my blood-starved heart into overdrive and I go into arrest and die, is it the kids fault?
Or is it the fault of the guy who parked the car there that the kids hid behind?
Maybe it's the costume makers fault? Those outfits can be pretty authentic looking!
Could it actually have been my fault? Eating too much fried food? Smoking? Wait!, No! Better to sue the cigarette companies and fast-food outlets than accept that we have any responsibility for our own person.
There's an argument that I'm genetically predisposed to having a heart condition, so it could be my fathers fault?
My family could have a field day filing claims against society in general for my ill health.

I'm sorry for the old lady and her family and I feel sorry for the little kid.
Maybe the kid can sue the old ladies' family for mental and emotional damages on the basis that she was too old or infirm to be out walking, thereby putting her at risk of an accident she couldn't withstand?

Maybe we can all sue the judge who made this ruling on the grounds that he's made us fearful of letting our children out to play in case they bump into someone and we all end up in court. Our children will be fat and unhealthy due to lack of exercise and fresh-air and future generations will die young.
I feel a Class-Action coming on!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 09:14 AM

According to the BBC news report

According to court filings, in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn were accompanied by their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, as they raced their bicycles along the pavement near the East River in New York's Manhattan borough.


Under parental supervision so in my view the mother was liable. Of course the local legal system may require the action to be brought in the child's name, we need a New York lawyer to confirm or deny that.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 10:01 AM

It's quite right she should be able to sue the mothers for this. But it sounds a daft legal system if the child has to be sued.

I suppose if a dog bit someone they have to sue the dog rather than the owner.

A bit like suing a car instead of the driver, after an accident.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 10:09 AM

The mothers are obviously to blame. Not being a US lawyer, I couldn't say what the legal situation is. You could certainly sue the mothers in England, and win. Racing bikes along the pavement acompanied by children is not encouraged.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 10:25 AM

Just how fast can the little bikes (probably with stabiliser / training wheels) actually go?

What are the other facts? Did the deceased suddenly step into the path of bikes?

It was just an unfortunate accident. The son of the deceased clearly has no concept of a child's ability to judge and avoid such a situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM

Just an unfortunate accident?

Would you say that, Virginia, if the mother allowed the child to race into the street and the child was killed?

I'm sure you wouldn't, and neither would I. We would expect the mother to control the child for its own safety. If the mother can do that, she can also control the child for the safety of those around her.

As for anybody suing a 4-year-old, that's just baloney calculated to get us upset. It's the child's parent (and possibly the parent's homewner's insurance co) who will be sued.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 11:13 AM

It would be enlightening to know whether 'pavement' is being used in the American sense (on the roadway where vehicles travel) or in the UK sense (what the Americans call 'sidewalk').

If on the roadway one would imagine the mothers were watching for any vehicles and that the elderly woman stepped onto the street.

If on the sidewalk (which I am assuming since Lox is not American), it is illegal, dangerous and simply not allowed. Sidewalks are for pedestrians.

I agree: sue the parents.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 11:18 AM

Since the BBC report quoted said "pavement" I assume they meant what the Americans call "sidewalk" - in which case "Did the deceased suddenly step into the path of bikes?" is absurd. You aren't expected to keep an eye out for racing vehicles when you are walking around the pavement/sidewalk, any more than you would in a house.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 11:21 AM

Exactly. And the mothers, being adults, knew that.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: jacqui.c
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 11:35 AM

Being in Manhattan, probably was the sidewalk - this looks like a scattergun approach - sue every possible person involved - the shot will surely pick someone off.

I used to work for an insurance company dealing with liability cases - in this one the parent should have been exercising strict supervision over the child and not allow her to go racing off on her bike, both for the safety of the child and for other users of the sidewalk.

There is a duty of care to ensure that the actions of any individual do not cause a problem for any other user of a particular area. It's pretty clear that that did not happen here - any reasonable person should have been aware of the possibility of the child colliding with a pedestrian and kept the child in check.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 11:52 AM

I think that if there is a trial the children's parents will likely be found negligent. Permitting or encouraging their children to race their bikes down a sidewalk at any age is extremely foolish.

Is anyone suggesting that the elderly lady was negligent to be walking down a sidewalk?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: gnu
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 12:42 PM

I read recently that a significant majority of eldery persons who suffer a broken hip die within a year.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: C-flat
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 01:05 PM

Just an unfortunate accident?

Would you say that, Virginia, if the mother allowed the child to race into the street and the child was killed?


Children are knocked down and killed evey day while playing on their bicycles. They weren't necessarily allowed by their parents to cause this to happen, but, like all parents, occassionally your eyes are off them for a few moments.....

Yes, I would still call that an unfortunate accident. What else? Deliberate homicide on the part of the parents?


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 01:09 PM

Sufferin` Jesus.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 01:17 PM

Why should there be any need to sue? Any parent in this situation should accept responsibility for not looking after their child properly. In fact any parent who was unwilling to accept responsibility would be a pretty dodgy person to be in charge of raising a child.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 01:24 PM

They may have a problem proving that the woman`s death was due to the broken pelvis.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 01:57 PM

In the USA I understand there to be a concept of a "wrongful death" lawsuit with substantial damages being available. Here, by statute first similar damages are limited to economic loss, excluding grief, and are moreover capped at £10,000. I had to check this quite recently when Medway Maritime Hospital killed Jacqui in 2005. However, the son suing on behalf of the deceased 87 year old could recover for her pain and suffering due to the broken hip (assuming liability was established). As I recollect when my late mother broke her hip (she actually managed to do so twice) she was very pissed off about the suffering bit and screamed quite a lot, and even more pissed off with being in traction for nearly 6 weeks the second time (as it was a fracture not a clean break).


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Lox
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 02:04 PM

1. Why "ought" someone to be sued?

2. Sometimes children run into the road and get run over, and it is an accident and its breaks their parents hearts.

3. Who was caring for the old lady?

4. Why are we even discussin this?

5. Thank you Cflat for your excellent post highlighting the utter absurdity of this legal action.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 02:27 PM

I am more amazed at the guy who gained 65 lbs while working at McD's and sued for his health problems. He won $17,5000. He had to taste the food to see it up to snuff and eat a McD's lunch. Last I saw they offer salads and have for years. Ridiculous.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 02:36 PM

The only decision made thus far by the judge was that "the case may proceed." There was NO DECISION that the child is "liable" for anything at this point.

A trial will be necessary before the court can determine whether this was "just an accident," whether the child was doing something not appropriate to its age, or whether the parent failed to control what the child was doing and should have known that the kid might hurt someone.

The defense attorney argued that the parent was "present," but apparently emphasised that the parent was NOT SUPERVISING THE CHILD, so it was effectively the defense attorney's attempt to say it was "the kid's fault and nobody else's, and the kid is too young to have any manners at all."

Although the headlines say "four year old," this child was two weeks from a fifth birthday, which would, under existing precedent, have allowed the case to proceed without question.

The ruling was only on a pre-trial motion by the defense, and had no effect other than to accept the case for hearing. It takes little speculation on how the case is likely to proceed to say that the judge ruled only that a hearing is needed to determine whether parents are immune from being responsible for supervising their children in a situation where harm to others may be reasonably expected.

The defense attorney's pretrial motion was an attempt to say that the child was too young for anybody to be in control. The judge just said there are other issues, and the case may proceed.

The headline might have said "judge rules that child under five still needs parental supervision," and we'd all not be so offended.(?)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 02:48 PM

An almost-five year old has known for approximately two years not to run into people. In that sense, the child is also culpable. The child, of course, may not have recoverable assets. And I would probably object to a prison term for said child. :)

However, in the case of children who are allowed to race each other on a public sidewalk in plain view of their parents and the parents have not ensured the safety of other people before granting such permission, the only possible liability adheres to the parents.

Logically speaking, I should think the only damages sought or granted would be of holding the parents liable for medical costs- NOT up to and including death and burial; as was mentioned above, at 87 a person could die of any trauma at all. Nor do I think pain and suffering of the offspring and other family of the deceased would enter into the equation- it WAS an accident, after all.

The borken hip, however, was clearly due to the child's action.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: akenaton
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 02:56 PM

To my utter amazement, this forum seems to be getting less "liberal"

Next thing we'll be expecting folks to be responsible for their own safety.

Well done you lot!


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 03:05 PM

Lox asks slightly strangely "Why are we even discussin this?".
Well, at a guess, because you started a thread on the subject. Wasn't this your aim? If not, why open a thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 03:07 PM

As they say in the legal field, NEVER ask a question to which you don't know the answer. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 03:08 PM

Justice Paul Wooten merely ruled that a lawsuit brought against her, another boy and their parents to move forward.
"The suit..... claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both four, were racing their bicycles, under the supervision of their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, on the sidewalk of a building on East 52nd Street. .........
Her estate sued the children and their mothers, claiming they had acted negligently during the accident........
"Justice Wooten wrote in his decision, referring to the 1928 case, "Juliet Breitman, however, was over the age of four at the time of the subject incident. For infants above the age of 4, there is no bright-line rule......

"Rachel and Jacob Kohn did not seek to didmiss the suit against them."

Obviously the suit should proceed.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 03:12 PM

The above from an article in the New York Times, Alan Feuer, October 28, 2010, "4-Year-Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules in Bike Case."
The English Press seems to have garbled the story.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: gnu
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 03:44 PM

Garble, garble... makes good press... sells papers.

In law, in logic, there are tautaulogies. The lady did not fall down on her own. As for who is responsible for her fall... that will be determined by the courts.

Oh... I doubt she "darted out" in front of anyone. If so, good on her for being that agile at that age.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 03:58 PM

People who are blind, on crutches, elderly or whatever shouldn't need someone there to take care of them on a pavement because pavements are for pedestrians and no-one should expect to be hit by a bicycle on a pavement. If parents want to teach their kids to cycle on the pavement in order to protect them from the dangers of the road, they aught to also teach them to do so responsibly so as not to endanger pedestrians.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 04:10 PM

Sidewalk vs. pavement- I wonder, would paved path be a neutral term understood on both sides of the water?
Such schisms can lead to conflict-


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 04:49 PM

VTam raised a few points:

Just how fast can the little bikes (probably with stabiliser / training wheels) actually go?

What are the other facts? Did the deceased suddenly step into the path of bikes?

It was just an unfortunate accident. The son of the deceased clearly has no concept of a child's ability to judge and avoid such a situation.


Those are defense matters which will undoubtedly be brought up at the trial. The judge's ruling doesn't dispose of them. The judge's ruling only deals with whether the case may legally go forward to a trier of the facts, almost surely a jury.

The concept of "just an accident" has been thrown around by several posters. Yes, it was an accident, in that it was a mishap that almost surely was not an intentional striking of the old lady, but this is a suit for a negligent wrong, not for an intentional wrong.

As I read the linked article, I take it that the real target(s) of the suit is/are the mothers, with the claim that they were negligent in failure to control the child on the cycle, and that their carelessness caused the event and injury. The child seems to be merely a necessary party in order to get at mama.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Lox
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 04:53 PM

Greg - I wondered who would be the first to spot that little error :-)

Ake - still banging that drum eh? ... and trying to draw a comparison between a bike accident andf rape ...

... I think that parallel is about as "liberal" as they come ...


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: gnu
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 05:26 PM

"Yes, it was an accident, in that it was a mishap that almost surely was not an intentional striking of the old lady, but this is a suit for a negligent wrong, not for an intentional wrong."

Conjecture at this point. And that is a tautaulogy.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 06:24 PM

In legal parlance, negligent wrong and intentional wrong are not the same.
The suit is based on negligence; intent does not enter into the action; hence not tautological.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 07:11 PM

If the incident was thought to be intentional, the charge might be criminal if the acting party were adult, but I'm sure it wouldn't lie against a four year old.

Just what charge (if any) might be brought against mama because of the intentional wrong of her kid, I don't know.

Dave Oesterreich


Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Slag
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 08:39 PM

I see grounds for a counter suit. Anyone at the age of 87 trying to negotiate the streets alone is asking for it. Any responsible pedestrian ought to have the wherewithall to avoid small children on bicycles, running children which could have percipitated a incident with the same outcome or a whole host of other incident which could have cause an identical outcome. She needed accompaniment, a guardian.

This case is simply a "kid-will-be-kids" situation and to find in favor of the old woman's estate is a further erosion of our freedoms and the right for a kid to do kid things. I might question the responsiblity of a parent who let's a child roam free on a bicycle at age four but I certainly do not question the kids.

PS I remember smashing my bicycle into a telephone pole at age six because I had just learned to ride and hadn't got around to the turning part yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 08:55 PM

Uncle Dave, it is one suit, all parties named, the estate of the dead woman claiming negligence.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: gnu
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 09:05 PM

Slag...a person has rights regardless of age or mental/physical capacity. The fact is that the child HIT THE OLD LADY... SHE DID NOT HIT THE CHILD.

As for a further erosion of your freedoms... don't ever get old.

Good luck with that.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Slag
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 09:10 PM

Come on gnu, you ought to know by now that SOMEBODY has to take the opposing point of view! ; ]


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 10:25 PM

"Anyone at the age of 87 trying to negotiate the streets alone is asking for it. Any responsible pedestrian ought to have the wherewithall to avoid small children on bicycles, running children which could have percipitated a incident with the same outcome or a whole host of other incident which could have cause an identical outcome. She needed accompaniment, a guardian." Slag

Sheesh. What are YOU, 15? That argument is an absurdity. In Juneau we have 90 year olds who are still hiking and downhill skiing.

I just now read gnu's last post and the response. Glad to hear that Slag is not as juvenile as I'd feared. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 11:09 PM

Be careful, Slag, you'll be charged with sexism (whatever that means nowadays) as well as anti-octogenerism (sp.?).


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: catspaw49
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 12:02 AM

Obviously the lady needed a dog to protect her......one of those dogs I read about here on Mudcat.......you know, the ones who are genetically predisposed to attack children in the face. Then they could have had the kids sue the dog!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 12:43 AM

One would assume the defence may delve into the condition of her bones. If she had osteoporosis...the kid would've had to barely tap her to cause a fracture of some sort and hips are a notorious injury for elderly women. NOT that that would excuse negligence on the part of the mother, but it could still be a factor for the defence, I would think.

I've thought about this in relation to my grandson...it took him a while to understand just how strong he was at 4-5 years old and how much it could actually hurt if he threw the ball too hard or batted too hard with foam swords. By 5.5-6, he had a better understanding and now, two weeks from 7, he fully understands. We've never let him race his bike anywhere, anyway. When I was growing up we didn't get a bike until we were 8 years old. I was kind of appalled when my grandsons all had them so young. I still am not thrilled about it. Maybe those kids in NYC shouldn't have had bikes so soon.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Slag
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 01:09 AM

Well I'm certainly glad she didn't kidnap the four year old and feed her to her viscious dog! Where the heck are the parents these day?! Maybe they had her insured to the hilt. That's not as bad as the old lady's brats trying to pump up her estate to the max. Anyway you look at it there are going to be some happy lawyers!


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 01:39 AM

Boy. You are a doll.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 02:40 AM

Of course someone should be sued - lawyers have to make a living, and I've never met a hard-up lawyer.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 03:29 AM

...only in New York................







.....or maybe L.A....

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 08:03 AM

Thank you Cflat... Precisely what I was thinking. We don't know that those 2 mothers may be very conscientious (it only takes a moment of distraction) And that little girl may normally be cautious. The elderly lady, may have stepped into the path of the children when coming out of her home at just the wrong moment. The children may have tried to slow down and stop, but been unable to.

There is no way of knowing all the particulars of that moment in time.   Anyone who sues after such an accident, especially when it involves such a young child, is merely grasping, possibly for some consolation for his grief. But I am inclined to think he is grasping for money.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Anne Lister
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 12:37 PM

I'm just thinking of how often I have had near-misses with running children in supermarkets (when parents are within sight but not doing anything to discourage their offspring from racing around) and I'm a fairly fit person far from my 80s. And that's without wheels involved. The speed of movement is almost irrelevant, as it's the unpredictability of the direction that's at issue.
If children don't know the dangers of playing games (with bikes or without) in an environment where there are people moving around normally (however old they are) then it's really parental responsibility to be aware and stop those games.
I can't see why it would be the child who would be the target of legal action in this case, but that's clearly a difference between US and UK law - here there have been major rows about how responsible older children should be considered in far more unpleasant cases of assault and deaths.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 01:04 PM

In English law, as I understand it, negligence amounts to a breach of the duty of care. Several suits show a similarity to U. S. law.
If someone experienced in English law is out there, please correct me if I am wrong.

No one seems to read the actual wording of the suit- the mothers of the child are named; the main difference is that all parties are named in the suit, not just the mothers.
A child 4 or over can be named and included in the suit; this seems to be the major difference, in this case, between the negligence laws of the two countries.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 01:19 PM

thinking now about the stigma of publicity this little girl is going to have to bear.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: jacqui.c
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 03:26 PM

In English law, as I understand it, negligence amounts to a breach of the duty of care. Several suits show a similarity to U. S. law.

When I was working as an liability insurance claims negotiator that was the case. we all have a duty of care to ensure that our actions do not cause harm to other people. In this case it would appear that the mothers here allowed the children to race ahead on their bikes, regardless of the fact that they were on a public street and might possibly be a danger to any pedestrians. That would suggest a breach of the duty of care leading directly to the accident occurring. In my experience the children would not, in the UK, be named in the suit.

We are not aware of the situation here with regard to medical costs, which would probably have been substantial, based on the lady's injuries. It is possible that here relatives may have been left with those costs, in which case a claim against those responsible could easily be justified.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 04:14 PM

Here is a quote I picked up somewhere that I've mainly found to be true.

Once you get used to it, insanity can be the most normal thing in the world.

Alas, the world we inhabit now, and our bemused acceptance of it as the floats come into view, one by one by one, often presents a succession of things we are simply helpless to do much about---except to take note of them in "News Of The Weird."

It IS, still, from where I sit, a rather singularly intriguing panorama.
Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Lox
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 04:15 PM

"thinking now about the stigma of publicity this little girl is going to have to bear."


Quite!


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 07:36 PM

'Street' continues to be mentioned, but the incident was on a sidewalk.
English reports, and the term differences, continue to confuse.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 04:51 AM

In England a street normally has a roadway and one or two footpaths (generally referred to as a pavement as it always used to be paved with paving stones)either side. On the street simply means not in a building or other enclosed area.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 08:08 AM

X MAY be the case , or Y - WE dont know ANY of the facts that people here are raising as possibilities ! All the judge has done is said that the Court Case should proceed . Its down to the Judge, or Jury , or whoever to decide any liability !
On THAT basis any discussion is a waste of bandwidth


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 09:00 AM

...except, LF, that in many countries there could be question of a child of that age being party to a suit in any capacity whatever; so the judge's original statement that she could be regarded as fit and mature enough to be so is just something beyond our comprehension.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 09:02 AM

.. I meant of course that 'there could be NO question...'

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 09:08 AM

At four years of age I would assume that the child had only just about mastered riding a bike so isn't going to be as steady as a child that has learned a little bit of road sense, so it was an unfortunate accident. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The parent should have kept an eye on the child or warned the child to be careful not to ride into anybody. If the mother hadn't warned the child then she should be responsible for the outcome.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 06:08 PM

More invention.
The judge did not rule that that the child was fit and mature enough to be sued.
"Mother's warning"- in a negligence suit, that does not protect her from liability.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: andrew e
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 09:27 PM

Why would you ruin someone's life by suing them for something they did not mean to do?
Who here thinks they should be sued for an accident they didn't mean to cause?


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: jacqui.c
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 11:52 PM

I can only speak for the UK, but there household insurance policies cover liability - don't know about the USA.

Claims are generally dealt with without too much publicity and, even if it is unintentional liability, there is still a lack of care on the part of one or more individuals, leading to damage or injury to another party. Why should that person be out of pocket because someone else was careless?


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 04:00 PM

Well, someone ought to be sued.

In Germany, being the victim of an accident caused by a child below seven years of age may lead to a situation in which there is no one to sue and the victim may have to pay themselves for the damage the child has done. If the child was allowed by a parent or caretaker to act alone (you don't lead 4 year old by the hand all the time, do you?) in a way which could be considered safe for a child of this age under normal circumstances and by some mishap (unforseeable distraction, e.g.) the child causes an accident no one will pay the damages of the victim.

Allowing a race on bicycles like in the case above would of couse not be considered a case in which the parent was acting responsibly.

But a child who can under normal circumstances cycle safely and for instance hits a car when distracted and intimidated by a wasp would be a case in which the car owner has to pay for the damage himself. Neither the child (too young) not the parent (acting responsibly enough) could be sued with success. It would be considered just bad luck.

BTW, in Germany children up to the age of 8 have to cycle on the sidewalk and up to the age of 10 may cycle on it. That can lead to a difficult decision for parents. If they cycle with their kid they have to use the street and the kid has to use the sidewalk. But in some situations (two rows of parking cars and a hedge, e.g.), the consequence is the the kid is beyond control for too long. When my daughter was young I have done what nearly all parents do, I have used the sidewalk as well. This is one of the situations where the cops look the other way because violating the law is the safer action.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 04:14 PM

A person or persons causing injury, loss of livlihood or other damage must compensate for their negligence.
Most of us have insurance to cover compensation in case of damage or injury to another.


Personal damage and injury coverage is 2million on my property.
Here in Canada, as well as U.S., a home-owner is responsible for keeping the sidewalk in front of his property clear of obstruction or ice/snow, for injury to those needing access to the property, such as telephone/cable repairmen, and for anyone legitimately seeking access to property and house.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: gnu
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 04:32 PM

Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Slag - PM
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 09:10 PM

Come on gnu, you ought to know by now that SOMEBODY has to take the opposing point of view! ; ]
*********************************************************************

Yeah... have fun with it if that is what you need to get your jollies. Jaysus!

Q... "for injury to those needing access to the property" Yes, an invitee... someone you have contracted. All others do so at their own peril.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: gnu
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 04:56 PM

Oh... except for minors... if you have an inherent danger on your property, you are liable for minors, and mentally disabled adults, who are injured by that foreseeable danger... sorry.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 05:20 PM

VTam:

You say things like "2 mothers MAY be very conscientious," and "that little girl MAY normally be cautious," and "The elderly lady, MAY have stepped into the path of the children".

That's why we have trials, so the finder of facts (in this case a jury, I expect) can consider the nature of the accident site, the possibly conflicting testimony of the various witnesses, and the medical evidence as to the old lady's preexisting health, force of the trauma, and injuries.

The jury (if that's what it is), on the basis of their weighing the evidence, have to decide whether the plaintiff has proved its/his/her/their particular allegations by a preponderance of the evidence, not by the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. Just a little tipping of the scales one way or the other can do it.

As to someone "going for the money", that's what a lawsuit is about, in most cases. The old lady can't be restored. It's been a while since I read the article, but didn't she die from the injuries? Sure, it's about money; what else could it be?


And Andrew E said:
Why would you ruin someone's life by suing them for something they did not mean to do?
Who here thinks they should be sued for an accident they didn't mean to cause?


I certainly do think so, and so does the law. "Something they did not mean to do" is not the test. It's whether a defendant's careless acts caused damage to another. Intent is almost impossible to prove, of course, and it's irrelevant in any case. Of course if the jury did find intent to harm, that would be a great aggravation of the wrong, but it's not necessary.

And of course you say "Who here thinks they should be sued", etc. Being sued is merely the way the argument gets before the court. If you think someone should never be sued for something claimed to be unintentional, who is to make that decision? If an injured party (or her estate) can't even sue, the facts will never be decided.

And VTam, you said:
"thinking now about the stigma of publicity this little girl is going to have to bear."

Two comments:
   The publicity will fade away in a surprisingly short time, whereas the victim is dead forever. The child, at say five, minimally aware of the publicity, especially if her parent(s) manage that matter correctly.
    and
On the other hand, I do note that the lady had an operation for her hip, and then died several months later. The claim of the plaintiff (probably her estate) will of course be that the accident and operation as a result of it constituted the proximate cause of her death, and the defendants will OF COURSE question that at the trial. Again, that's what we have juries for, to decide those issues. And also to decide just what monetary damage the estate suffered as a result of her death, up in her nineties as I recall. I don't know New York law on this, but in many states a plaintiff can't recover for pain and suffering--and even if that is possible in New York, that claim died with her.   If New York law is like Indiana law on that subject.

Oh, and one more thing: It's likely there will never be a trial, and so the publicity will be minimized. I say that because far and away the great majority of lawsuits get settled without trial.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 06:01 PM

"At own peril" defense is invalid in Canada.
Salesmen, solicitors, etc., all may sue if they are injured on your property if their intentions are innocent. The sidewalk in front of the property is considered yours for all intents and purposes- if someone slips and falls, receiving injury as the result of ice/snow or breaks in the walk, one can be sued for negligence causing injury.
$2 million is the amount of coverage recommended in Canada. Some provinces (Alberta is one) have 'caps' on the amount that may be claimed.

Homeowners without or with inadequate personal injury insurance can find themselves in deep trouble.
Many law firms specialize in personal injury claims.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: bubblyrat
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 06:04 PM

Civilised countries such as Holland have dedicated "cycle lanes",where "fietsers" can ride to their hearts' content without fear of let or hindrance,and pedestrians can walk on "their" bit in comparative safety.Sadly, in England ,cyclists are denied this relief and thus must perforce,if they are to avoid certain death on our overcrowded roads,ride,albeit illegally, on the pavement / sidewalk. Having said that,and despite sympathising with their (cyclists') dilemma & predicament,they have to understand the law says that they MUST have the appropriate lights after dusk,and that they MUST have a bell, or other warning device,in order to alert pedestrians to their prescence.
             Of course,no self-respecting British pavement-rider is going to bother (and they don't) with lights,bells,horns,etc., and ,should you remonstrate with one for nearly running you down,the usual response,especially from teenagers and the very young, is "Fuck Off, Grandad !".The police,as usual,do nothing,so a state of anarchy is fast approaching in this country.....which is good,because it means that the victims can respond appropriately (with luck).


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 06:33 AM

In London we do have cycle lanes and if your dare to warn a pedestrian that you are cycling down it you often receive a hard stare or mouthful of abuse with no attempt to get out of the way. Not to say that the cyclist should always be in the right but I do wish people would be more aware of where they are walking and of the safety and convenience of others.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 02:27 PM

A system here in Calgary has two paths in parts of it. Pedestrians and bicyclists do not mix.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 04:11 AM

So do we but cyclists are well known for cycling on the footpath and pedestrians just don't seem to notice that they are on the cycle path.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 06:57 AM

I agree Manitas, I always make an effort to note which side of the path the cycle lane is.

I think one of the problems is that when they divide down the middle what was once simply a path for foot traffic (as most cycle/footpaths are) planners seem to fail to take into account the ratio of heavy foot traffic, to light cycle use. On most paths in town where there is a constant stream of pedestrians - often families walking together - you'll get an individual cyclist now and then. Families and couples usually walk together two or three abreast, while by comparison cyclists usually cycle solo in single file. The space allocation on split footpaths rarely seems to represent the disparity of volume of usage by pedestrians v's cyclists. Thus pedestrians tend to spread into the cycle lane. Another problem I've found is that unless you're continually alert to the signs on the floor (and unlike when cycling, while walking I rarely look at the ground) you can be walking on the path one minute, turn a corner, and you're inadvertently walking on the cycle lane without noticing that it's just swapped sides.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 02:18 PM

Interesting digression on cycle and pedestrian paths.

The accident took place on a city sidewalk. Here, as in most Canadian cities, sidewalks are restricted by law to pedestrians only. Small children on tricycles and small bikes often use them, creating a legal problem when they cause an accident.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 02:41 PM

"Here, as in most Canadian cities, sidewalks are restricted by law to pedestrians only."

Same here Q.

Which is why I find it quite appalling that anyone should be calling for elderly - or indeed otherwise potentially physically vulnerable people such as the blind or slightly disabled - to require a 'carer' to spot children racing on bicycles for them.

Groups like the elderly and disabled are marginalised enough as it is without being made to feel that what freedoms they currently have should be encroached any further upon because there are a few inconsiderate parents about. Especially when most parents are young, fit and able and as such (unlike some of the elderly or disabled) probably car drivers.

As someone who lives in a village, I see a fair number of old people tottering up to the local shop each day. Who knows maybe it's the only time they get out? I doubt that's true of either the kids on bikes or their Mums and Dads who shop at Asda in the car each week.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 02:49 PM

"what was once simply a path for foot traffic (as most cycle/footpaths are)"

I need to explain this better, as it probably sounds confusing!
What I meant was, that in towns many cycle lanes (though not all) have been created by dividing existing footpaths into two with a painted line.

So far, this isn't the norm outside of towns.


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 03:00 PM

"who shop at Asda in the car each week."

Correction, make that Sainsbury's!

(As if any of the yummy Mummies round here would shop at Asda! *smile*)


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Subject: RE: BS: A 4 year old is sued? is it April 1st ..
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 06:01 PM

I was in the jury pool selected to sit in a trial where the family was conspicuously looking for deep pockets when their father died after falling off of his motor scooter. Their plan was obvious, when the facts were put forward. I wasn't selected for the jury, but I listened for a while after it was seated.

When I was in New York City a few years ago in Riverside Park on Manhattan's west side, a little kid ran into me on his bike. Pow! Hurt like the dickens and I walked with a limp for the next couple of days. I wasn't in my 80s and kept my balance, but the parent was with this child and didn't bat an eye, didn't apologize, didn't scold the child. To the contrary, she hustled the child off like I might be some kind of predatory adult. If she' done real damage I'd have had the cops chase down the mother and get the information, because she was responsible for her child's behavior.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for either party in this case. They sound like they deserve each other.

SRS


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