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Hartselle Enquirer

And now we’re suing children…

When we were children, we spent a lot of time playing at a neighbor’s house. Our parents were friends and all us kids were about the same age, so it was a perfect match.
The cool thing about their house was they had a pinball machine. We loved that pinball machine and fought over who got to play it next. One day, my brother apparently found the pinball machine unoccupied and decided to have a turn.
There was a problem, though. For some reason, the pinball machine had been unplugged. Finding a nearby outlet full, my brother unplugged one of the cords, swapping it out for the pinball machine.
Everything was fine until the change out was discovered and everyone realized my brother had unplugged a large, chest freezer. It just so happens the freezer was full of meat, all of which was now in various stages of spoiling.
Uh-oh.
In the end, it turned out my parent’s homeowner’s insurance covered the cost of the meat – no harm, no foul. There were no lawsuits, not hard feelings, and plenty of hamburgers for all.
This being said, I’d like to tell you a little bit about another story of kids doing something wrong. In this case, it was a pair of children racing their bicycles down a sidewalk in Manhattan. The two children, under the supervision of their mothers, collided with an 87-year-old woman as she walked down the sidwalk. The lady suffered a broken hip that required surgery and, unfortunately, died three weeks later.
Sad, sad story. And a strnage one, too.
The lady’s survivors filed a lawsuit in connection with the accident. Not only have they sued the parents, they’ve also sued the children.
They are 4.
Last week, a New York judge ruled that you can sue these particular 4-year-olds because, although the law determines those younger than 4 as incapable of negligence, these two were only months away from turning 5. Consider it the legal equivalent of a negligence kids meal – those 4 and under eat free.
There’s no word as to when the training wheel case could go to court and no one has mentioned what role the children will play in the proceedings.
I do know this, however. I’m glad my brother unplugged that freezer in the 1970s instead of today – I’d hate to end up in court over rotten steaks.

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