23 May Child Liability: A Child’s Liability for Tortious Conduct
What recourse does a person whom has been injured by the actions of a child have under Florida law? Can you sue a minor for damages? Can you sue the child’s parent for damages? Under Florida law, the answer to both is yes.
As a practical matter, the injured party may not want to sue a child due to a the child’s lack of assets. But that child *can*, nevertheless, be held civilly responsible for acts of negligence or for the intentional, (non-contractual) tortious conduct that they have perpetrated.
Obviously dependent upon the circumstances, a more likely avenue for recovery is against the parents of the child who has committed the tort. Parents are under a duty to exercise reasonable care to control their minor child by preventing their child from either intentionally harming, or otherwise creating an unreasonable risk of bodily harm to others. Recovery against the parents of that child would hinge upon whether or not the parents failed to exercise due care in the situation. For example, should the parents have known not to show their minor child where their loaded and unlocked gun was kept? Should the parents have kept that child from bringing that gun to the playground if they knew it was likely he would have brought it?