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Negligence – Negligent Supervision – Parents Of Drunk Driving Defendant
Serious orthopaedic and neurological injuries
The two pedestrian plaintiffs were injured when they were struck by a motor vehicle owned and operated by the defendant. At the time of the accident, defendant was intoxicated and plaintiffs previously brought dram shop claims against the bar where he was drinking, which were settled. The remaining claims were asserted against defendant’s parents based upon negligent supervision.
The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant had a long history of motor vehicle accidents as well as alcohol abuse and that the defendant parents knew or should have known of his propensity to drive while intoxicated. Plaintiffs further claimed that they negligently failed to supervise their son and as a result the plaintiffs were injured.
At the time of the accident, the defendant was 20-years-old. The plaintiffs argued that the defendant was not emancipated as he was a full-time student living at home, although he did work part-time. They further argued that case-law did not stand for the proposition that the parents of an adult child had no duty to supervise.
The home owners insurer of the parents defended the negligent supervision claim under reservation of rights. Ultimately, plaintiffs recovered the full policy limits of $300,000 based upon the above arguments.