The controversy: A pair of four-year-olds who knocked over an 87-year-old woman during a training wheel-assisted bicycle race are fair game to be sued for negligence, ruled a New York a judge last week. The woman suffered a broken hip in the 2009 incident and died of unrelated causes three months later. The judge has ruled that a "reasonably prudent" child of four could have "reasonably appreciated the danger of riding a bicycle into an elderly woman."
The reaction: This ruling "defies belief," says an editorial in the New York Daily News. Do we really want a judicial system which gives "credence to the most ludicrous claims imaginable"? This judge "needs a set of training wheels on his brain." As the mother of a five-year-old who "still believes in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy," says Paula Bernstein at Babble, I'm not sure that even an intelligent pre-schooler understands the ramifications of her actions. Nor should the deceased woman's estate be suing little kids for what was clearly a "freak accident." Even so, kids: "Consider yourself on notice," says John Del Signore at Gothamist. Might be time to put some of that birthday money into a "legal defense fund."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Does solar energy have a battery problem?
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 10 things you need to know today: September 22, 2014
- How to be a moral internet citizen on the often-immoral internet
Subscribe to the Week