Summary of Robinson v. Lindsay, S. Ct. Washington, 1979
Facts: Df, 13,was driving a snowmobile belonging to df Lindsay, pulling PL, 11, on an innertube attached by a rope to the snowmobile. Pl thumb was severed when it got caught in the rope. The thumb was reattached but not fully functional.
Issue: Whether the minor df’s liability for injuries sustained as a result of his operation of a motorized vehicle or participation in an inherently dangerous activity, is determined by a standard of care exercised by an ordinarily reasonable child of same age, intelligence, maturity, training, and experience would exercise?
Holding: No, b/c he was operating a powerful motorized vehicle, he should be held to the standard of care and conduct expected of an adult.
Procedure: Jury verdict in favor of Anderson, trial court ordered a new trial, and Df objected. Affirmed.
Rule: When a child engages in an inherently dangerous activity, as in the operation of a powerful motorized vehicle, the child should be held to the adult standard of care.
Ct. Rationale: Courts have created an exception to the special child standard b/c of the apparent injustice that would occur if a child who caused an injury while engaged in certain dangerous activities were permitted to defend himself by saying that other children similarly situated would not have exercised a degree of care higher than his. The better rationale is that when a child is engaged in an inherently dangerous activity, such as the operation of a powerful mechanized vehicle, the child should be held to an adult standard of care.
PL A: The duty of a child to exercise a standard of care that a reasonable child of the same age, maturity, training, and experience would exercise under the same or similar circumstances.
Def A: Snowmobile accident claim hundreds of lives every year and based on that the operation of a snowmobile requires adult care and competence.