4-Year Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules

A judge has ruled that a suit can be brought against a 4-year old who mowed down an 87-year old lady with her bike.

As their mothers watched, the girl and another child were racing their bikes, equipped with training wheels, down a sidewalk when they struck an elderly woman walking in front of a building on East 52nd st in Manhattan. The woman suffered a hip fracture and died three weeks months after surgery later of unrelated causes. Her estate sued the children and their parents for negligence.

Previous courts have ruled that children under 4 are incapable of negligence and cannot be sued for it. The child in this case was 3 months under 5 and the judge decided not to extend the four and under rule to her.

In his ruling, the judge concluded by saying there was nothing to indicate the child’s “lack of intelligence or maturity” or evidence to “indicate that another child of similar age and capacity under the circumstances could not have reasonably appreciated the danger of riding a bicycle into an elderly woman.”

4-Year-Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules in Bike Case [NYT] (Thanks to Howard!)