Bullying is an epidemic in the United States. According to the Youth Violence Resource Prevention Center, nearly 30% of children in this country are involved in bullying as a bully, a target of bullying or both. This amounts to nearly 5.7 million children.
I am often contacted by parents whose children are the victims of bullying by other children. They are usually seeking compensation after the bullying turned violent and resulted in the child sustaining injuries. As you can expect, the bully almost always has little or no assets or means to satisfy a judgment. To many, the next logical step would seem to file a lawsuit against the bully's parents. Unfortunately, many times filing a lawsuit against the bully's parents proves unsuccessful.
Generally speaking, parents are not financially responsible for injuries their children cause merely because of paternity. However, there are four exceptions to this general rule:
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. These "instrumentalities" can include things like motor vehicles or weapons.
2. Where the child committing the tort is acting as the servant or agent of its parents.
3. Where the parent consents, directs, or sanctions the wrongdoing.
4. 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. This exception often hinges on prior communications between the bully and their parent(s) and/or prior bullying that the parents are aware of.
If you have a child who is being bullied, take a look around http://stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/kids/, which is helpful website provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Located in Volusia County, the Law Office of Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. handles all types of personal injury claims and lawsuits throughout Florida.