Conn. Driver Responsible for Fatal Accident Sues Parents
Watching the Today Show this morning, I was appalled – as were the hosts of the show, as far as one could tell – by the story of the Connecticut driver who is suing the parents of child he killed in a traffic crash. I had to stick around and see what the story was about, and sure enough the kid was on a bike. The story goes something like this: the driver is going 80mph in a 40mph or 45mph area (two-lane road fairly rural road, narrow paved shoulder), overtakes another car and hits and kills the 14-year old cyclist. The driver, with four prior convictions for drunk driving, is sent to jail for ten years for manslaughter and is now suing the parents of the kid for allowing him to ride without a helmet.
Yes, Connecticut has a helmet law (under 16). Yes, the DMV screwed up in letting this guy behind the wheel of a car in the first place. Of course a helmet would have had zero impact at that kind of speed. So the idea that a publicly-funded lawsuit could be brought against the child’s parents seeking $15,000 in damages for the emotional harm done to the driver is truly the stuff of fantasy – or certainly should be. And yet there it is.