An 11-year-old boy who suffered serious and permanent damage to his knee after falling on glass shards that littered a local park is entitled to $425,000 in damages, affirmed a Missouri appellate court recently.
The fact that the child's mother was not present at the park to supervise at the time of the incident did play a role in reducing the park's liability from 100 percent to 85 percent. However, despite the city's objection, appellate court ruled trial court properly gave an instruction to jurors on the matter of lacking parental supervision as a "stray issue" that should not greatly sway the outcome of the case.
Both sides in Myers v. City of West Plains had agreed prior to trial the lack of supervision hadn't played a significant role in the fall, and likely would not have prevented it from happening. Yet, during the voir dire process of vetting jurors, many said they would be prejudiced in finding a city liable for injury to an unsupervised child. Thus, the court gave an instruction to jurors regarding how such information should be weighted.