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 to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why you probably don't have Ebola — even if you shook hands with America's 'patient zero'
- Fall film guide: All the movies you should see in October
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert are accidentally having a serious debate on ISIS
- The dumb war in Syria will haunt Democrats' 2014 prospects
- You're reheating pizza wrong
Subscribe to the Week