Opinion

Protecting four-year-olds from lawsuits over bike accidents

Bob Dorigo Jones Senior Fellow, The Center for America

Is a child who isn’t old enough for kindergarten still old enough to be sued in court over a bicycle accident?

Sadly, one judge in New York says, “Yes,” and his decision makes me wonder what has happened to common sense in our courts.

A four-year-old little girl who still needed training wheels on her bike accidentally ran into an elderly woman on a Manhattan sidewalk.  The lady was injured, and her family decided to sue the child.

Incredibly, the judge decided to allow this young child to be sued for negligence, a word she can probably barely pronounce, let alone understand.  As a result, she’ll undergo questioning from lawyers and be taught a lesson that many of us didn’t have to learn until we were adults — that we cannot always rely on judges to do what is right.

Let’s be fair, judges can interpret laws based on what is reasonable, and this judge could have dismissed this lawsuit.  If judges don’t know that four-year-olds should not be sued over a bicycle accident, it’s up to us to tell them.

Find out more.  Go to my website at BobDorigoJones.com.

Bob Dorigo Jones, who serves as Senior Fellow for the Foundation for Fair Civil Justice, is the author of the bestselling Remove Child Before Folding, The 101 Stupidest, Silliest and Wackiest Warning Labels Ever. He is the host of a new national radio/Internet commentary, “Let’s Be Fair.”