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Louis
10-28-2010, 10:55 PM
OK, that was a tabloid headline, but the NYT story is here: (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/nyregion/29young.html?_r=1&hp)

Beginning of the story:

October 28, 2010
4-Year-Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules in Bike Case
By ALAN FEUER

Citing cases dating back as far as 1928, a judge has ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence.

The ruling by the judge, Justice Paul Wooten of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, did not find that the girl was liable, but merely permitted a lawsuit brought against her, another boy and their parents to move forward.

The suit that Justice Wooten allowed to proceed claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both 4, 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. At some point in the race, they struck an 87-year-old woman named Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and, according to the complaint, was “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three weeks later.

rcnute
10-29-2010, 12:03 AM
It is sort of amusing at first glance, but there are any number of reasons why it could have been necessary or prudent to make the kid a party to the case. Especially where someone died.

Ryan

Nil Else
10-29-2010, 12:30 AM
Just kids playing and she was very old anyway... wonder whether you could say that if she was your mother regardless of how old... but what would be just thing to do.

Guess you could punish the mothers for letting their kids play on the sidewalk... by way of making the 4 yr olds guilty....? But then some kids are exceptionally wild and reckless....

dekindy
10-29-2010, 08:07 AM
If you want to follow a strictly legal arguement, she was negligent for being there in her frail condition. Tough case.

Is it illegal to ride on the sidewalk there?

rugbysecondrow
10-29-2010, 08:19 AM
This makes sense:

In legal papers, Mr. Tyrie added, “Courts have held that an infant under the age of 4 is conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence.”

Then

On Oct. 1, he rejected a motion to dismiss the case because of Juliet’s age, noting that she was three months shy of turning 5 when Ms. Menagh was struck, and thus old enough to be sued.

This is, of course, reasonable because we all know that a child just shy of turning five is way more responsible than one who is just barely four. :rolleyes:

At least the 4 yo wasn't texting or should would be in BIG time trouble.

It seems to be a waste of time to sue the 4 yo since the 4 yo has no resources...what is the point?

martinrjensen
10-29-2010, 10:23 AM
Accidents happen. It's too bad. This is a clear case of the USA gone sue crazy. This is totally nuts. they should obviously have been playing in the streets with cars...Just kids playing and she was very old anyway... wonder whether you could say that if she was your mother regardless of how old... but what would be just thing to do.

Guess you could punish the mothers for letting their kids play on the sidewalk... by way of making the 4 yr olds guilty....? But then some kids are exceptionally wild and reckless....

shiftyfixedgear
10-29-2010, 02:06 PM
Oh shut up about our over-litigous society . . . blah blah blah.

I feel sorry for the old broad that died. The kid's families should be held responsible, at least for the medical bills - which I bet are gonna be substantial for a broken hip at her age.

The kids families lived on E52nd st. - fer crissakes, why couldn't they have taken the kids to Central Park if they were going to ride so fast on the sidewalk ? Last I heard sidewalks were for walking, although I know that there are lots of things that go on besides that.

I don't think that parents are THAT stupid wrt how wound-up their kids are when they start acting wild.

martinrjensen
10-29-2010, 04:48 PM
4 year olds should be riding their bikes (note: "with" training wheels....) on the street???? I think the parents can take their kids where ever they want to. Everybody wants to sue somebodyOh shut up about our over-litigous society . . . blah blah blah.

I feel sorry for the old broad that died. The kid's families should be held responsible, at least for the medical bills - which I bet are gonna be substantial for a broken hip at her age.

The kids families lived on E52nd st. - fer crissakes, why couldn't they have taken the kids to Central Park if they were going to ride so fast on the sidewalk ? Last I heard sidewalks were for walking, although I know that there are lots of things that go on besides that.

I don't think that parents are THAT stupid wrt how wound-up their kids are when they start acting wild.

cinema
10-30-2010, 11:42 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/30/nyregion/30bigcity.html?_r=1&hp

drewski
10-30-2010, 03:40 PM
This sounds like a total freak accident. I used to play baseball in
a city park surrounded by really old folks sitting on park benches.
Its a miracle we never hit one of those elders.

The parents should have paid the bill end of story. But what is
weird why did this case take so long to come to trial.
Couldn't they have settled out of court? I think its interesting that
there is a law that does allow children under 12 to ride on the sidewalks there. Most folks in that part of town are very hostile to any kind of bicycle
riding. City councilman Peter King tried to pass a law to make riding
a sidewalk in NYC illegal.

torquer
11-01-2010, 02:46 PM
The kids families lived on E52nd st. - fer crissakes, why couldn't they have taken the kids to Central Park if they were going to ride so fast on the sidewalk ? Last I heard sidewalks were for walking, although I know that there are lots of things that go on besides that.
For four-year olds, it's a long way through crowded streets to Central Park, and once there, they would be faced with equally crowded paths. And midtown isn't exactly known for playgrounds. Dumb place to raise kids, if you ask me.
New York City is albout warring tribes; bikes versus cars, pedestrians versus bikes, doddering old folks versus anybody. The estate of the old lady (who died of causes unrelated to the accident, as I read) is suing because the parents were negligent in supervising their spawn; I don't think either kid will be any better or worse off by being excluded or included as defendants.

Louis
11-01-2010, 02:58 PM
the old lady (who died of causes unrelated to the accident, as I read)

I read that in the paper and wondered how true or false it might be. How often do we hear of an old person who falls and breaks a hip, has an operation, and shortly thereafter is dead? There may not have been a direct connection, but it may have been an indirect connection.

(Not that I think that suing little kids is a solution, but I'm not so sure the incident was not related to her death.)

benb
11-01-2010, 03:00 PM
Does anyone read the whole article anymore:

She died three months later of unrelated causes.

It totally changes the discussion towards the direction of frivolous lawsuit.

Louis
11-01-2010, 03:33 PM
Does anyone read the whole article anymore:



It totally changes the discussion towards the direction of frivolous lawsuit.

Nobody is saying that the article did not say that the cause of death was unrelated, the question is was it truly unrelated?

If she died due to lightning strike while out on a picnic, then yes, I agree, it was unrelated, but if it was due to pneumonia and complications thereof, then chances are it was related. At this point without details I don't think we know for sure.

drewski
11-01-2010, 04:23 PM
Its not a bad place to grow up as long as you have street smarts.
As least the kids don't have to drive everywhere due to the ubiquity
of subways. Plus if you want to get away there are great
places to visit in every direction.

Some of the best values to be had in education are available in NYC.
As long as the kids are able to pass the entrance exams.


For four-year olds, it's a long way through crowded streets to Central Park, and once there, they would be faced with equally crowded paths. And midtown isn't exactly known for playgrounds. Dumb place to raise kids, if you ask me.
New York City is albout warring tribes; bikes versus cars, pedestrians versus bikes, doddering old folks versus anybody. The estate of the old lady (who died of causes unrelated to the accident, as I read) is suing because the parents were negligent in supervising their spawn; I don't think either kid will be any better or worse off by being excluded or included as defendants.

christian
11-01-2010, 04:26 PM
This thread has now proven that, inevitably, if you discuss children and NYC, you will arrive, in fewer than 20 posts, at a discussion of the G&T entrance exams.

torquer
11-03-2010, 03:23 PM
Its not a bad place to grow up as long as you have street smarts.
My comment referred to midtown as a poor choice for families with (little) kids, not the city at large. Plenty of better choices without resorting to the Jersey option. (No offense, Garden Staters. :D )

rugbysecondrow
11-04-2010, 09:41 PM
I read that in the paper and wondered how true or false it might be. How often do we hear of an old person who falls and breaks a hip, has an operation, and shortly thereafter is dead? There may not have been a direct connection, but it may have been an indirect connection.

(Not that I think that suing little kids is a solution, but I'm not so sure the incident was not related to her death.)

87 year old woman Louis. I am sorry, but sh!& happens sometimes. Shocking that some sane member of the old ladies family haven't been able to talk the others down...what a horrible way for a woman to be remembered, suing a four year old child.

BumbleBeeDave
11-05-2010, 06:54 AM
87 year old woman Louis. I am sorry, but sh!& happens sometimes. Shocking that some sane member of the old ladies family haven't been able to talk the others down...what a horrible way for a woman to be remembered, suing a four year old child.

What really gets me about this one is the NYT story says . . . "She died three months later of unrelated causes."

Why do the kids need to be included in this lawsuit? I can certainly understand the grief and anger of losing a parent unexpectedly--both of mine died in a six week period in 2007. I can also barely understand taking that anger out on somebody by suing the kid's parents for negligence in supervision.

But deliberately including the little kids in a lawsuit after it's apparently been established that the woman's cause of death was unrelated to the kid's "negligence" (as if a 4 year old is even capable of understanding the word) just smacks of mean spirited personal indulgence.

The story makes it clear that this decision merely makes it possible for the lawsuit to be filed. But the defense lawyer is gonna have a field day with this one. How can it even be established that the woman sustained "grievous" or "crippling" injuries if she's not alive to testify to such? This won't go beyond a quick summary judgment.

Absolutely ridiculous . . .

BBD

Dekonick
11-05-2010, 08:59 AM
What really gets me about this one is the NYT story says . . . "She died three months later of unrelated causes."

Why do the kids need to be included in this lawsuit? I can certainly understand the grief and anger of losing a parent unexpectedly--both of mine died in a six week period in 2007. I can also barely understand taking that anger out on somebody by suing the kid's parents for negligence in supervision.

But deliberately including the little kids in a lawsuit after it's apparently been established that the woman's cause of death was unrelated to the kid's "negligence" (as if a 4 year old is even capable of understanding the word) just smacks of mean spirited personal indulgence.

The story makes it clear that this decision merely makes it possible for the lawsuit to be filed. But the defense lawyer is gonna have a field day with this one. How can it even be established that the woman sustained "grievous" or "crippling" injuries if she's not alive to testify to such? This won't go beyond a quick summary judgment.

Absolutely ridiculous . . .

BBD

Agree - but then again there was the million $$$ judgement VS McD's for hot coffee...

shiftyfixedgear
11-05-2010, 04:47 PM
I think now with the nation turning towards conservative politics, that the four year-old is gonna face a hard time in the courtroom. Unlike the legally naive BBD, I expect a long sentence and due to the special circumstances of using a tricycle during the crime, the kid will probably be denied Happy Meals during her stretch at Rikers.

You never know though - Johnny Cochrane might produce a daiper found as evidence near the scene and then dramatically
show that the DAIPER DOESN"T EVEN FIT the four year-old !
The jury could acquit the defendent and then in protest the AARP will start a huge series of riots throughout the city. Windows will be smashed and wheelchairs and walkers will be looted from all the major medical supply-houses.

We don't even have Bea Arthur anymore to try and quell the riots ! It's gonna be mayhem.