Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Family (rightfully) wants claims tossed from lawsuit

The parents of Zack Nelson, who was killed in a drunk-driving accident, want a judge to throw out allegations that they're responsible for his death.
The lawsuit contends Hardy is liable because he allegedly knew his daughter hosted underage drinking parties, including the one that ended in the fatal accident, but did nothing to cut off her access to alcohol. 
In a cross-claim filed in October, the resort's attorneys, Gerard Cipriani and Rebecca Sember Izsak of Pittsburgh, place blame for Nelson's death on his parents.
Honestly, I usually don't support lawsuits like this. I tend to think that they don't do much good. That said, if they have good reason to believe Joe Hardy knew about and did not stop underage drinking (and driving) on his property, he should be held accountable. Besides, the idea that parents are responsible for their nearly adult children's actions is pretty ridiculous.

In our late teens, we're expected to choose colleges and career paths. We're treated as independent adults who need to start running our own lives. Teens have committed crimes but been treated as adults who made their own decisions without their parents being blamed, and this is no different. And this all assumes that his parents knew what he was doing and condoned it, which isn't the case, and very few people have never drank underage or gotten in a car with someone who's been drinking. Most people are lucky enough to learn from that and move on. Beyond being illogical, blaming parents for a young adult's death that they weren't involved in at all is just cruel. Interesting that this convoluted thinking is their defense, too--not that Joe Hardy didn't know but that parents should be controlling of their children because everything their kid does is their fault.
The attorneys alleged the Nelsons were aware their son had previously drank to the point of intoxication, drove while drunk and rode with others who were drinking, but failed to do anything to deter him. 
“The Nelsons breached the duty of care owed to their minor son and this breach of duty was the sole, direct and proximate cause of Zackery Nelson's injuries,” the resort's attorneys claimed in a court brief.   
Okay, fine. Let's play with this twisted logic. Let's just say that yeah, you can reasonably blame parents for their child's decisions and actions. Wouldn't that then mean that since the party in question was hosted by Paige Hardy at Nemacolin, and if she had done so before and Joe knew and "failed to do anything to deter" her, and she was actually in the accident, as well, that...Joe Hardy actually is at fault here? After all, shouldn't he have known what his daughter was doing and kept a closer eye on her, let alone taught her better?

Nice try, lawyers. If this is the Nelsons' fault--and it's not--then it's Joe Hardy's fault, too.
Hope you liked my business while you had it, Joe Hardy, because you just lost it.

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