Pushing leads to concussion...

by Anonymous
(Missouri)

My son came home from a scout meeting one evening stating he hit his head really hard and wasn't clear on how it happened. After he kept repeating himself several times and displaying odd behavior I took him to the ER, where he was diagnosed with a concussion.

After a few days we found out what happened - he and another boy were roughhousing and the friend pushed him where he fell back and hit his head on the hard floor. The boy who did it told my son he did it, but is now denying he ever touched him and is now stating another boy did it (even though there are two witnesses to the incident - other children, no adults).

I approached the parent of this boy and a defensive wall went up immediately. No responsibility was taken...great lesson to teach your children - right?

All I wanted to do was sit down and discuss with them so this doesn't happen again, but I am now pondering legal action for medical bills and pain and suffering. Would this warrant a case? How would I proceed? Thank you.

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ANSWER for "Pushing leads to concussion...":

Anonymous (Missouri):

We live in a litigious society. According to you, your son and another boy were "roughhousing" when the boy pushed your son and he fell. From the facts you present, there was no evil or malicious intent to harm or injure your son. It just happened. The boys were playing and you son was hurt.

If it was the other way around and your son, while roughhousing with another boy, pushed that boy and injured him, would you be immediately willing to accept liability and pay for the boy's medical bills. That is an appropriate question.

While parents are generally liable for the acts and omissions of their children when those children cause harm or injury to another, absent malicious intent or a wanton disregard for the safety and well-being of your son, you have no viable legal claim against the parents of the boy.

Moreover, under the facts you present, if you do file lawsuit it is likely the court would summarily dismiss it based on lack of evidence of negligence of malicious intent to do harm.

There is an alternative. If you are determined to find someone to exact payment from, you can consider the scout leader. If that leader was an adult and he was negligent in his or her supervision of your son and the other boy, the the scout leader and/or scout troop organization may be liable.

However, once again, you present no evidence supporting a claim of negligence against the scout leader or troop.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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