Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Inherently dangerous activities?
As you probably remember, a child's conduct is usually evaluated by a special standard of care unless it involves an "inherently dangerous activity." And, as you might expect, the question of what is an "inherently dangerous activity" is highly debated particulary as it refers to activities in which kids participate but that do create risks like hunting, motorcycling and skiing. I have posted comments and examples of this debate here and here. Today Prof. Jonathan Turley is reporting in his blog of a case in which the divorced parents of a 9 year old boy are fighting over the father's desire to teach the boy how to use a shotgun. A Judge has granted a temporary restraining order against the father. The mother's argument was based, in part, on the assertion that “Guns are unquestionably dangerous.” The father's attorney responded by noting that “Skiing downhill . . . is inherently dangerous [for a child this age]. We don’t have people coming in here asking for restraints on that. . . . “You don’t see people coming in saying (the) child can’t go swimming in the lake at 9 because he might drown. Essentially what they are saying, with no facts, (is) ‘restrain him from letting his father teach him to be around and supervise his use of a firearm because he might get hurt.’ Show me the facts beyond speculation and this opinion of fear.” Full story here. In other, child dangerous activities news, .... South Dakota recently moved to lower the age for hunters to 10, here.