walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

You Can't Make This Stuff Up, Aunt Division

The whole world is judging the "childless" aunt who sued her nephew in Connecticut court for damages that resulted some years ago when he, as an 8 year old, jumped on her to give her a hug. He is described in the article as weighing 50 pounds at the time, which honestly sounds very light for an 8 year old boy.


She lost. Duh. Her position was that a "prudent" 8 year old would have known better than to jump her. The jury's position was probably representative of the population at large's opinion that "eight year old" and "prudent" rarely belong anywhere near each other in a sentence.

However, because we don't necessarily want to encourage 8 year old (especially ones who weigh more than 50 pounds) children to jump on unsuspecting fifty year olds (my daughter tried this with her great aunt J. recently. J. had only recently recovered from a shattered pelvis and is in her 80s. I about had a heart attack, but J. is savvy to the ways of children and knew to dodge), the media has seen fit to make the plaintiff sound extra special ridiculous: "childless" is in quotes because it appears in all the coverage, as if this was either additionally damning or somehow explanatory or possibly both; having trouble holding a plate gets the full treatment: “I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate,” she said." So in addition to no kids, suing a relative and eating something called "hors d'oeuvres" (instead of apps, the way any reasonable adult would say today, or, if you are square, appetizers or conceivably small plates), she lives in Manhattan (and we know about THOSE people), etc.

If the media had wanted to sympathize with this woman, she would have been described differently: having trouble with activities of daily living, such as carrying a plate of food, living in a cramped apartment in a building without an elevator, and probably some text associated with the extent of the medical bills not covered by insurance.

Children jumping on adults is something that causes very serious problems for some adults. And probably we should all, collectively, come up with some way to protect adults, especially ones who spend a lot of time around children, from this problem. I sort of feel like tourists like the childless aunt are kinda on their own. (One wonders what happens when she's around large, overly friendly, dogs.) I'm fairly certain, however, that the solution will not involve lawsuits. I'm thinking something along the lines of disclaimers, warning labels, signs, etc.: "Warning! This is a Birthday Party! Children Doing Stupid Shit! Maintain situational awareness at all times and be prepared to dodge. If you require assistance in defending against incoming small bodies, please notify the host before arrival."

ETA: Also, how does living on the 3rd floor make a wrist injury worse? I'm really confused about that part. If it'd been an ankle, or knee or hip, sure, but wrist?
Tags: parenting

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