Sadly, I invested in an investment scam. There are parties in this scam being criminally charged and sued by the SEC and the NY attorney General. Can I file a law suit
for the unnamed parties that contacted me and I invested with? Also, the intern was 20 years old, can I sue his parents as well? Most likely, they claim him as dependant on their tax firm. I lost six figures and most likely the case will take 2 years and recovery of seized assets may result in 30cents on dollar if we are all lucky.
You can bring a civil suit against anyone who made an actionable misrepresentation to you, or who acted in concert with that person or persons. Unless the parents were involved in the scheme, they would not be liable.
Evaluating any legal question requires a detailed knowledge of the specific facts involved. Since a short question will rarely contain all the relevant facts, the answer here should be considered a general comment for your consideration and not legal advice.
A person who has attained the age of 18 is an adult according to Massachusetts law.
I know of no general principle of law pursuant to which a defrauded person may hold the parents of an adult liable for the fraudulent conduct of the adult, unless the parents were somehow involved.
I don't practice law in Massachusetts so don't take what I say here as legal advice. It's just my two cents on the facts you describe in light of general principles of law. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds Massachusetts licensure. That's not me.
Mr. Stolzberg and Mr. Taylor advise you correctly. You do not state any basis in either fact or law as to suing the parents of a wrongdoer. Apparently your theory is that the intern's parents have more money than he does. And while that theory may well be correct, you do not suggest any facts by which one may infer liability by the parents of the intern.
There are various doctrines of law pursuant to which one person may be liable for the actions of another. One such doctrine is "respondeat superior," which means, literally, that the master answers for the wrongdoing of the servant. This is a doctrine used quite often to make an employer liable for the wrongdoing of an employee. Another such doctrine applies in the law of agency, in which the principal may be sued for the wrongdoing of a disclosed agent.
But the notion that a young adult may not have much money, but that his parents might is a novel (and just plain wrong) approach.
Good luck to you.
Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as rendering legal advice involves the ability of the attorney to ask appropriate questions of the person seeking such advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement. The purpose of this answer is to provide the questioner with general information, not to outline specific legal rights and remedies.
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