Visitor Question

Liability when child injures an adult performer in a festival show?

Submitted By: Taylor (Waverly, NY USA)

Joe and John had worked weeks on preparing for their Las Vegas Children Oriented Show. The children (from the audience) are part of the show.

The show incorporated swords, whips, and gloves.

The Festival provided stage, sound, security and lighting. Joe and John provide padded swords for the children to use in the show. They do not have enough padded swords for all the children. So they allowed some of the children to use their own “wooden” swords.

The crowd had pushed their alcoholic limits at the beer tent. During the show the crowd starts urging on the children to “kill” the villain. A child who brought their own sword strikes John, who playing the villain on the head.

In this case, could the parents be held liable for the injuries caused by their child’s actions? Is there any other party that can be held responsible to pay for the resulting injuries? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Taylor,

Quite the contrary. From the facts you present, no one is liable but Joe and John.

Liability attached the minute they urged some of the children to use wooden swords.

Moreover, it appears one of the purposes of the swords was to strike or “kill” the villain. Joe and John seemed to have received exactly what they were asking for; for John to be figuratively “killed.”

While it is true parents can be held civilly liable for the acts of their children, in this case, there is no liability. Joe and John knew, or should have known there was a great possibility they might be struck with the wooden swords.

From the facts you present, no other party is liable for John’s injuries. The festival apparently provided a venue which was safe for them and the children. The venue also had no adverse affect on Joe, John, or the children.

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

Best of luck,

Published: December 19, 2014

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