Have You Or Someone You Know Been Injured By A 4-Year-Old And Need An Experienced Attorney To Represent You In Court?

Posted: October 30, 2010 in Current Events, Miscellaneous
Tags: , , , , , ,

Damn kids! I know I saw the case law regarding kool-aid spills on suit jackets in here somewhere!

The professionals at the We Hate Children Firm understand.  Call now and we will make sure we take that little brat for all that he/she is worth!

Yes, 4-year-olds can be sued, so sayeth the honorable New York Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten.  OK, the circumstances of the case are indeed tragic.  The 4-year-old girl (along with a boy of the same age) were riding bikes under parental supervision.  Unfortunately an 87-year-old pedestrian was struck and she fell, fracturing her hip (sadly she died 3 months later due to unrelated causes).  Now no doubt it’s not a good thing for an older women to get hit and injured by a little kid on a bike.  But still, can a 4-year-old be held responsible due to negligence?  Really?  Judge Wooten thinks it’s at least possible.

Some of the ruling is pretty comical:

  • “Defendant-movant correctly notes that infants under the age of four are conclusively presumed incapable of negligence……Defendant-movant Juliet Breitman, however, was over the age of four at the time of the subject incident.  For infants above the age of four, there is no bright line rule……”  – Nope, she wasn’t under four.  She was just a few months shy of five!  She’s practically an old lady herself!
  • “A reasonably prudent child, whom we may presume has been told repeatedly by the age of four to look both ways before crossing a street, knows that running across the street is dangerous even if there is a parent nearby.” – Is there any such thing as a “reasonably prudent” 4-year-old?  Has this judge ever been around a 4-year-old?  A lot of words may cross your mind, but I’m not sure “reasonably prudent” would be two of those.
  • “There are no exhibits containing evidence as to the defendant-movant’s lack of intelligence or maturity…..” – Hmm.  The defendant’s lawyer probably should have mentioned that the defendant is 4 years old.  Oh wait?  That is in the record?  Um, exactly what more evidence were they suppose to provide?
  • “….nor are there any other mitigating factors apparent in the record that would indicate that another child of similar age and capacity under the circumstances could not have reasonably appreciated the danger of riding a bicycle into an elderly woman.” – Really, has this judge ever been around 4-year-olds?  Sorry, I had to ask again.  I’m no expert myself, but I’m pretty sure risk analysis is not high on a 4-year-old’s agenda.

Maybe the judge is right, and a 4-year-old can be found liable due to negligence.  For that matter, given the intelligent, mature, prudent nature of 4-year-olds, I think they should be allowed full rights.  Let’s let them vote.  And heck, while where at it, let’s let them drive too.  And definitely let’s let 4-year-olds run for public office!  Could a 4-year-old really do much worse than Sarah Palin? 🙂

The thing I think I really find annoying about this is the whole idea that when something bad happens, somebody must be at fault and thus must pay.  There is no such thing as an accident anymore.   After all, I can poke fun at the judge, but just the fact that a group of people decided it was a good idea to sue a 4-year-old in the first place tells me that there is something very wrong .  (Um, exactly what kind of damages is the estate of the victim expecting to collect here?  Is the estate going to take possession of the little girl’s Barbie collection?)  If we have reached a point where a 4-year-old riding a bike on training wheels can land in court after an accident, it would seem to me that it is only a matter of time before the rest of us end up in court for something as well.

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