What to do if my 7 year old son and 5 other children were playing a game on the trampoline at my cottage and he injured one of them by accident?

The game was to push the other kids on the outside of the net off the trampoline (unfortunately we were busy packing up to go home and no adult witnessed this game, which would have ended immediately). Unfortunately, my son pushed my friend’s 7 year old off the trampoline and when he fell he fractured his wrist (we only found this out later in the evening when his parents took him to the hospital). The mother of the injured boy (my friend) was livid because she did not think my son showed remorse or even apologize (which he did). I am afraid she will try to sue me? All the children admitted this was a game they were all “in on”

Asked on July 19, 2014 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is possible that you would be liable for his injuries under one or both of the following theories:

1) Your son committed an intentional tort--he deliberately pushed the other boy; this would be offset by the other boy's role in agreeing to play this dangerous game, but it's not a given that the other boy's participation will provide a defense.

2) Seven-year olds probably should *not* be allowed to play, in fairly large numbers (6 children) on a trampoline without adult supervision; you may be liable for "negligent supervision" in not doing what a reasonable parent would have done under that situation.


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