Snow v Nelson deals with a 15 year old playing a game with a thirteen year old. The game included croquet mallets. The older child negligently swung the mallet and put out the younger child's eye and hurt his sense of smell. The court ruled that the parents were not liable for the injuries.
Are there exceptions
Yes, there are four broadly defined exceptions: 1 where the parent entrusts the child with an instrumentality which, because of the child's lack of age, judgment, or experience, may become a source of danger to others; 2 where the child committing the act is acting a a servant or agent for its parents; 3 where the parent directs, consents, or sanctions the wrongdoing; or 4 where the parent fails to exercise control over the minor child although the parent knows or with due care should know that injury to another is possible.
How big are the exceptions
The exceptions are pretty narrow. An example is that in a 1955 case the court did not hold the parent responsible where a young child was going around in a hotel and bothering guests, apparently pushing and hitting some. The child slammed a door so hard that it cut part of a persons finger off. The parents were held not responsible in spite of recognizing the fourth exception.
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