I've come to the conclusion that people are either too 'sue happy' or that people find the smallest reasons to bring legal trouble upon themselves or their institution. Don't believe me?

In April of 2009, a 4 year old and 5 year old were racing their bicycles (equipped with training wheels) on a sidewalk (much like 4/5 year olds do) under the supervision of their mothers.  At some point (the end of, perhaps?) during their race, they accidentally struck an 87 year old woman who was walking up the same sidewalk. (Don't get me started on why the old woman could not have stepped to the side to get out of the way. Children of this age cannot stop on a dime, nor can they get their speeds up too high - and if you argue...you should come teach my 4 year old a cool trick.) Now, this woman fell and broke her hip - which she could have done walking up the sidewalk by herself, in the shower, walking up or down the stairs, or by tripping on a pebble on her way to put a quarter in the meter. She required surgery (obviously) and had her hip replaced. She died three months later of UNRELATED CAUSES.  After her death, her estate filed suit against these children and their mothers.  This whole thing absolutely INFURIATES me.  The family members of this woman should be ashamed of themselves for seriously suing a child that doesn't understand what happened.  The family members of this woman should remember what it's like to be 4/5, and they should remember what it's like to be the parent of a 4/5 year old. They were riding on the sidewalk, they were doing what kids do.  It is absolutely unfortunate what happened, but old people fall over and break things all the time. She was 87 years old, it's a miracle it hadn't happened sooner.  The surgery didn't kill her. She died from completely unrelated causes, namely, OLD AGE.  The Judge in this case should be ashamed of himself for allowing this lawsuit to be moved forward.  He states that there is no evidence of a "lack of intelligence or maturity" with these children.  I asked Aiden if he thought it would be okay if he and one of the neighbor boys were to race their bicycles up the street. His reply, "Well yeah!"  I then asked Aiden if he thought they should be careful and watching for other people.  His reply, "Well...yeah, but we're smaller than lots of people though mama."  So yes, I'm sure that these kids realize that they needed to watch out for  other people - but what happened was an accident.  A senior has more of a chance to dodge two young children on bicycles than two young children can dodge anyone. Sure, both of their gross motor skills are probably on about the same level.  

Ugh. Have I mentioned that WHOLE thing just disgusts me?  They're kids.  It was an accident.  The woman died from causes that were unrelated to the accident, the fall, or the surgery.  I'm sure that these kids were as sorry as a 4 or 5 year old can be.  I'm sure their mothers made them apologize profusely and that these kids know that they HAVE to watch where they are going and that racing down a sidewalk might not be incredibly safe.  But I VEHEMENTLY believe that the whole thing should be dismissed.  Her estate is looking to blame someone, anyone.  Blame her age. It was an accident. Leave those kids and their families alone.  THEY are sue happy. I'm sure that the old woman is up there somewhere shaking her fist - but is it at her family, or those children? You decide. 

 

Another case that just irked me is that of a high school senior and placekicker for the school's football team who was given a pair of pink cleats by his great grandmother, a breast cancer survivor.  He wore these cleats to a game in the month of October (known for breast cancer awareness) and was laughed at by both coaches and team.  Regardless of the way he was treated for wearing these cleats, he wore them to football practice the following Monday.  He was asked to take them off and refused.  With his refusal, he was kicked off of the team. Apparently in Mississippi, there is an academic credit associated with football, and this particular student/player was relying on the credit from football to graduate.  I'm not judging, it was his senior year; I didn't do shit my senior year (I even took Physics my junior year, just because I could). But I digress... Because of the refusal to take off the cleats, and because he was kicked off the team - he may not graduate.  Now, before you start going on and on about how the coaches were right in not allowing colored cleats... through the last two years of his participation in this school's team, he has been through roughly 6 (SIX) different colored cleats.  No issue was brought up with any other color.  Not one.  It was because he was honoring his great grandmother and grandmother, BOTH breast cancer survivors, that he adorned his feet with the color pink.  It was because they were a gift that he wore them instead of any other color, and it was because the month of October is to spread awareness about breast cancer.  The kid tried to apologize to the coaches for his disrespect and got the cold shoulder from the coaches, who refused to reinstate him onto the team. 

The school is standing behind their coaches, and the coaches are sticking to their story of this teen being kicked off for refusing to follow the instruction of his coaches.  Understandable. I get it. I followed my coaches instructions too.  I also had colored shoes, and my coaches never had issues with them (be it my track spikes or my basketball shoes). If there was one pair that my coaches didn't like, I'd probably tell them to (politely, and in so many words) kiss my ass.  Is there a clause in the football contract that says, "No pink shoes."??  That would be the only color that they could really have in there if they do, as this kid had a variety of them over the past few years.  I'm thinking that there is some issue between the coaches and this kid that extends off the field.  What? No one knows but them - but shoes?  They're essentially not allowing this kid to graduate because of pink cleats. 

The family is being represented by a former Mississippi state Supreme Court justice. The lawsuit seeks his official reinstatement to the football team, for his personal record to be cleared and for any monetary damages or donations to go straight to the American Cancer Society.  Does this sound like a bad kid? Absolutely not.  It sounds like a kid who wanted to honor the women in his family by wearing a pair of pink cleats.  It sounds like these coaches have a grudge for some reason.  It sounds like the school system has completely failed and that the people in charge are going to lose a suit. I hope they lose.  I hope this kid wins and that they feel like complete idiots for wasting money on this instead of just reinstating the kid onto the football team and letting him graduate - which is all he wants to do.  I applaud him for standing his ground.  Green, blue, orange, red, black, yellow, or pink - it shouldn't matter what color is on his feet as long as he's doing what he's called to do when the time comes: kick a football. 

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