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Parents of schoolboy liable for Y15 million after wayward soccer ball leads to man’s death

83 Comments
By RocketNews24

The Supreme Court of Japan has set a ruling date of April 9 in the long-running case of a soccer mishap which resulted in a man’s death. The incident occurred when the deceased man was riding a motorbike and fell trying to avoid a soccer ball that rolled out from a school yard.

In the decade since the incident occurred, the family of the man has been trying to hold the parents of the boy who kicked the ball financially responsible and so far has succeeded in two previous rulings. If the Supreme Court agrees with the previous two decisions, then the boys’ mother and father will possibly have to pay 15 million yen to the family.

The incident took place in February of 2004 at an elementary school in Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture. A man in his 80s was passing by the school on his scooter at about the same time a schoolboy kicked a soccer ball at a goal placed near the gate.

In an attempt to avoid the ball, the elderly rider fell over and broke his leg. According to the subsequent trials the man then immediately began to show signs of dementia and about a year and a half later he had succumbed to pneumonia.

Readers found this sequence of events rather odd.

“The pneumonia is not connected.” “He got dementia ‘right after’ you say?” “What’s the real danger: a kid playing ball at school or a guy in his 80s riding a motorbike?” “It could be that being bedridden from the broken leg may have triggered the other problems.”

The courts seemed to agree with the last commenter’s sentiment that the soccer ball was a factor in the man’s death. At the first trial in Osaka District Court, the man’s family argued that the parents hadn’t played enough of a supervisory role such as adequately warning the boy to pay more attention to his surroundings.

In the first trial, the court ruled in favor of the man’s family and ordered the parents of the boy to pay 50 million yen in damages. The parents appealed in Osaka High Court on the grounds that they had met the supervisory obligations of average parents in warning the boy against dangerous play. However, the court still ruled against them but this time reduced the payment to 15 million yen.

Again readers found themselves in disbelief.

“Wha? Even the second court made them pay money? There’s something odd about this civil case.” “That’s harsh. Maybe the parents’ lawyer was acting rude in court?” “Maybe they should consider an 80-year-old guy riding a scooter to be the problem?” “That kid is 23 years old now…he’s been battling so many years. I wonder if it ruined his life.”

There were some who also agreed that the parents should pay some damages, but much less that the amount prescribed by the courts. It’s hard to say without knowing the full facts of the case, but it would certainly seem that the liability ought to fall on whoever decided to put a soccer goal right in front of a school entrance gate.

Source: Sankei News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Japanese man suffering from dementia could lose house after forgetting about court hearing -- Mother ordered to pay US$950,000 after bicycle-riding son collides with elderly woman -- Man found innocent of indecent assault denied 12 million yen compensation by Supreme Court of Japan

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83 Comments
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Pathetic!

34 ( +36 / -2 )

Why isn't the school liable for not have adequate netting to prevent this from happening? Anyone have that part of the story? This guy must really be connected high up.

44 ( +45 / -1 )

Yen 15M only? is it because he had already crossed Japanese man's average life-span?

-28 ( +4 / -32 )

15 million yen would have already been used up in attorney fees for the past 10 years. What a waste of time! Some people are so small that they would resort to something like this for a few yen. How sad.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

If it would have been a parent, I would probably have sued to get things changed and prevent this to happen again but yeah, there is the 'sh-t happens' factor.

This is maybe a dangerous trend where everyone sues everyone for monetary compensation.

I'm surprised the court let it go through....

I find it a bit far fetched...

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Nonsense, the boy is innocent, because how on earth he will know that he will miss the goal and cause a man dead? It was an accident, no one is guilty.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

To say that the broken leg from the accident was the trigger of this 80 year old's dementia seems to me to be a bit of a stretch. Unless there was some kind of brain trauma involved which can lead to vascular dementia he was probably exhibiting signs of progressive dementia prior to the accident. The pneumonia most certainly was the leading cause of his death and unrelated to the accident.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I strongly disagree with this verdict. The man's death was related to his pneumonia not breaking his leg due to his accident.

Plus, the kid was kicking a soccer ball on school grounds. I don't think his parents should pay any more than the hospital bill for the broken leg.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

If anyone is liable, it is the school. A child is not judged responsible and the child could not be supervised by his parents while at school. The school was in loco parentis at the time.

But this is all an accident. Why it is at court?

I will never understand the Japanese legal system. But these cases are always a good reminder that Japan is not a Western nation based upon European philosophy and notion of the individual. It is a very foreign land.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Are you frikken kidding me?! What a bunch of opportunists. I feel sorry for the family of the kid.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

They should be suing the owners of the ground for failing to provide adequate fencing. Suing the kid's parents because he kicked the ball is absolutely absurd! It's even more absurd that he courts supported it.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Certainly a bit of a theatre of the absurd going on here.

And as all too often common sense not so common, totally absent by the sounds of it!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It the court comes up with this kind of verdict, it's really a laughable institution, and people should demand that something be changed.

With a system that's making bad decisions such as this, what's not to say you couldn't be the next victim of the court like this poor boy.

If it's got to be anyone's fault, it should be the school taking the blame for not ensuring that the goal posts were in a safe place.

But really, it was just an accident. No one should be held accountable for anything. The family of the diseased should have thought of the boy who's lives they were ruining and just chalked it up as bad luck.

The family that sued should be mocked by the press for being overly litigious and the court judges should also be brought into the media spotlight for their ridiculous decision.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

At the first trial in Osaka District Court, the man’s family argued that the parents hadn’t played enough of a supervisory role such as adequately warning the boy to pay more attention to his surroundings.

How could you prove this either way?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

this is the single most absurd judicial decision I have heard in a heck of a long time. The kid was playing soccer at school. He did absolutely nothing wrong in any conceivable way. Are parents supposed to go to school with their kids to 'supervise' them? Should teh school ban soccer playing? totally ridiculous.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Bewilderment Abounds. The juggling judiciary.???

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think this verdict is outrageous on the face of it, but I have to admit I don't know Japanese law in these cases. I do know a bit about dementia having studied it close-up as multiple members of my family succumbed to it, including my father. It doesn't just show up out of nowhere. People in the early stages can compensate sometimes for years. They have enough on the ball to be aware something is wrong and like anyone would they change their behaviors and it remains hidden until it's sufficiently advanced they can no longer keep it from their loved ones. This guy was probably doing just fine covering up and maintaining himself until injury stripped him of daily routine. Time in hospital can exacerbate dementia symptoms greatly.

So to think breaking his leg somehow led to the dementia which resulted in pneumonia, which killed the guy is... well... wrong. Substitute a heart attack for the broken leg and this is how my dad went, although he was well advanced in his dementia by the time that happened. Took three weeks. Blaming this kid I suppose is natural given the course of events but ascribing cause-and-effect to him is beyond belief.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The boy and his parents should not be held responsible. The problem rests with the family of the deceased man.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is Japanese law. I've seen worse decisions than this. Everything in this country is a money grab. I don't believe the lawyers fees will comsume the "Ishario" verdict. Most lawyers and clients agree on attorney fees from the start. It's the courts that drag out sessions

They probably had all kinds of mediation and letters going back and forth, back and forth. There's no end to the bureaucracy.

In no way shape or form would I hold this kid and his parents responsible for his actions. If he had been playing soccer in a parking lot maybe yes. If in fact he was playing in a residential area then this is different.

Society set this up. Where is the park?

I was so fortunate growing up in America that I could walk down to the park. It was free. We have huge fields and tennis courts. All free. There was a Rec Center in the middle of the park that rented out equipment.

On Saturdays they even provided free lunch for the kids. They gave us fruit and drinks. We always felt that someone was looking out for the kids.

With all the complaints about children playing it's no wonder that Japan is an aging society.

This case should have been thrown out as it sets a destructive precedent. Money, money, money.

Nichiren Daishonin writes, "The realm of hungry spirits is a pitiful place where, driven by starvation, they devour their own children". He also says, "Greed is (The World) of hungry spirits".

To be hungry to the point of devouring one's own children is to be ruled by the misery of craving that knows no bounds.

In other words, in Japan's quest to focus on business you have abandoned your children and their development. This verdict is unfair is every sense.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Yeah, I don't think I was too clear in my jumbled response. I can understand given the timeline why the man's family would feel the way they do, but this unfortunate man no doubt have dementia before the accident. And the pneumonia was a year later. Given the man's advanced age the chances of him falling or having some other health problem that would expose his dementia were already pretty high. I feel bad for his family, but they're wrong blaming this kid for his dementia and death. The court is wrong, too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why not hold the school responsible for not having a fence?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

More nonsense from the Japanese "justice" system. Why should the family of the man receive anything? He wasn't earning an income (unless they were all living off his pension), so they haven't had any financial loss as a result of his death. Plus the cause of death, pneumonia, is in no way related to the broken leg resulting from the accident.

The family need to prove that the broken leg led to the mans death from pneumonia 18 months later. Given his age I'd say that's impossible. For the courts to rule in favour of the family is absurd; Japanese judges appear to be a bunch of idiots.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Standard illogical nonsense from a court. Happens in every court in the world- quite a lot of times in the US. Judges never take their job seriously.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I bet the stress from this court case has reduced the life expectancy of the parents. They should launch a counter suit for those lost years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What an absurd case. It's the school's fault for setting the goal post there. Unless the kid purposely aimed for the scooter, I don't see how the kid or his parents should be held liable. It was an accident.

AND...this caused the 80-year old's dementia? How can they prove that? I mean, don't a lot of 80-year olds go through dementia at that age?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

would certainly seem that the liability ought to fall on whoever decided to put a soccer goal right in front of a school entrance gate.

Just looking at the "sketch" at the top of the page, that was my immediate reaction. The idiot who decided to leave a "hole" in the fence is the one who should pay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the man’s family argued that the parents hadn’t played enough of a supervisory role such as adequately warning the boy to pay more attention to his surroundings.

First of all this is at school. Whatever happens on school grounds should be the school's responsibility. Are the parents supposed to hold his hand at all times?

Secondly, where was HIS family as he rode around on his scooter in his 80s. They obviously didn't take anytime to care about his well-being. I know there are versatile people in their 80s but HE should have been warned to be careful on the road.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is bull crap. The legal system in Japan is holding the boy and his family emotionally and financially hostage. This case needs to be dropped.

Accidents happen. It's sad and unfortunate, but they happen. Oftentimes, we look for someone or people to blame for why those accidents happen. We want others to pay for that emotional torment. In this case, the culprit to blame is probability. Unfortunately, you can't prosecute an intangible suspect.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“It could be that being bedridden from the broken leg may have triggered the other problems.”

20% of elderly hip fracture patients die within a year of their injury. I wonder what the correlation looks like for broken legs.

That said, this ruling is beyond ridiculous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First of all, having some experience recently with the Japanese court system, all I can say is that some judges just aren't very bright. And can't seem to look at the real picture.

And what's the reality here? A kid in a school ground kicked a soccer ball. Like millions before him. So, by bad luck this 80yr old failed to avoid the ball. Probably if he were 60 or 40 or 20 he would have avoided it. I've seen any number of old people on bikes who just aren't capable anymore of riding anyway - nearly got hit by one yesterday.

So, the kid was already being careful. He wasn't playing soccer on the road but in the school grounds. And if he made a mistake by mis-kicking well I've seen soccer playing representing their country shooting 2 meters above the goal posts during a penalty kick when their whole reputation and the country's chance at the world cup were at stake.

But, guys think about it. If my Dad were still riding a scooter at 80 first of all I'd be thankful he was still able to do it. Then I'd probably be telling him to stop it. And if he couldn't avoid a soccer ball and fell over - even if he died that day, would any of you really want to sue a boy and his family over that? What kind of vicious person does that?

You'd think there'd be a little bit more compassion and understanding. The kid probably feels terrible already. But to sue his parents?

And it was 10 years ago? The family of the old man must be insane or just completely weird people.

They could have just had a nice funeral for the old beggar, said their goodbyes and gotten on with life. The two dingbat judges need a kick in the pants.

Not to mention the low-life lawyer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is just insane.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Various questions come to mind. The impression given is that the parents, but not the school, were sued by the family of the man. Is that correct? Why would that be?

Did this incident happen during school hours or authorized use hours? Was the student playing under school supervision? Or was he breaking rules by playing in the school grounds without permission/supervision? Should parents be held responsible for thjngs that happen if they let their kids run wild when school is not in session? Was that the case here?

How does Scrote know the man wasn't earning an income? I know plenty of people over 80 that still work and bring in money.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The mere fact that the Supreme Court has set a date for delivery of judgment indicates that it is most likely to vacate the judgments of the lower courts. Otherwise, it would have sent its judgment by mail.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

According to the subsequent trials the man then immediately began to show signs of dementia and about a year and a half later he had succumbed to pneumonia.

The question I ask is was he wearing a helment while operating the scooter? Also, did he have a pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine (recommend for persons over 65) since it's not the flu that kills you, but the pneumonia you may get from it that does. If those were shown to have been in place, then maybe the family could have a case.

But I still think it is ludicrous for them to go after a kid for playing a game on a school yard. If the kid was kicking the ball in the middle of the street in an area that wasn't a playing field, maybe I could understand, but this was a school yard. If anything the school should be at fauult.

I hate to say it, but with a family like this, I really would be curious to know what the family dynamic was like. I am sure that they will say it was all loving and kind, but with actions like this, I believe that the family isn't anything but a bunch of self centered people who would be the types who wouldn't want to take care of him if he were still alive and only looking to make a quick buck to burn it in a pachinko parlor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The obvious culprit here is the inadequate law which for whatever reason had no precedent or insufficiently clear statutes to rule. As usual people prefer black and white rules than employing common sense. If anything the school should be the defendant and not the poor kid. Awful.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is crazy sounds like a freak accident drop the case

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That ruling is so stupid on so many levels. What on earth was the court thinking? Or drinking?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WilliB, yes that would be classic if even judges came out with the "We were drunk" excuse!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The boy, traumatised, bullied even, by an outlandish case that shouldn't have seen even a ray from the light of day.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The wall between the courts and the public is high.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a ridiculous decision. I have nightmares about ever being at the mercy of Japanese 'justice'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why does anyone have to be 'liable' in cases like this? Why can't we just accept that bad things happen and sometimes it's not really anyone's fault?

This lawsuit represents the type of shameless greed I would expect to find in America, not Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I could understand if the school were being held liable, which they should be to an extend, for the location of the goal in such proximity to the gate, but why the parents?

As for anyone suggesting that a person riding a scooter is more dangerous, that's equally absurd -- he was just going about his business. Schools and parks either need to build higher fences to keep baseballs and soccer balls and what not inside the grounds, or restrict ball play to indoors; and that goes with regular parks, too. The park outside my house has signs all over it reading "No Ball Play or Skateboards (or the like)" and yet EVERY DAY there are kids playing baseball, soccer, and other sports. I'm happy to see them playing, but many, many times I've seen foul balls or soccer kicks nearly hit people who walk through the walking paths in the middle of the park, and other balls roll out in front of people walking. It's not the kids fault if no one enforces the rules -- they are just having fun. And especially in the case of a school yard. So, stop blaming the parents and either blame the school or those who should be enforcing the rules.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This is a lovely (not) leap of faith here, to go from broken leg to "succumbing to pneumonia" a year and half later.

But hey, sign me up in suing my former employer when letting me go from my job leads months later to me being hit by a bus while on my way to a job interview.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

so, I looked around Japanese articles regarding this incident a little bit.

the boy's family actually had accidental insurance solely for situations like this, and when this happened, the insurance company dealt with the victim's family. The victim's family demanded 50 million but the judge ordered the family to pay 15 million with the consideration that the victim had existing medical conditions.

it was just this boy and his friend (2 boys) practicing soccer at the school grounds so it was likely either after school or on a weekend, the school was not held responsible for this. However, Japanese article says that the victim's family purposely didn't sue the school because they had a better chance winning if it was just against the boy's family (knowing they had insurance).

I feel sorry for the old man who was injured and died later on, however, his family really smells "fishy".. they are after money.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Compensation culture that demands responsibility or blame be attributed for a alleged fault or wrong, tailor made for the vampire legal fraternity, a tragedy for all concerned.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

seems like youd get better justice from NK courts

0 ( +0 / -0 )

fishy: "it was just this boy and his friend (2 boys) practicing soccer at the school grounds so it was likely either after school or on a weekend, the school was not held responsible for this."

It doesn't matter. A school should still be held responsible for what happens on its grounds, regardless of time of day, unless the school has made the required efforts to keep others off the grounds (ie. large gate, closed; fences, etc.), in which case the school should file for breaking and entering to avoid lawsuits when incidents occur on its grounds.

I'm not saying there isn't something fishy about this, as you say, I'm just saying in general that's the way it works, or should.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

That isn't the kids fault it is the cities for not having high enough fences. Kicking a ball in a park (at a goal) is normal and there was not the kids fault.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, it means a man can sue the guy who unintentionally broke his arm in P.E. class many years ago, because now the man is suffering from colon cancer, right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So many things wrong in this story. The main fault being trying to link pneumonia to the accident. Utter madness. And of course, if anyone is responsible for the initial accident, it should be the school.

It's times like these when politicians should step up and do something for the constituents for a change. That and maybe even lawyers refusing to represent the prosecutor ( hard to imagine I know ).

Stories like this just don't do Japan any favors at all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It doesn't matter. A school should still be held responsible for what happens on its grounds, regardless of time of day, unless the school has made the required efforts to keep others off the grounds (ie. large gate, closed; fences, etc.), in which case the school should file for breaking and entering to avoid lawsuits when incidents occur on its grounds.

smithinjapan - oh yes i totally agree with you, i was just stating what was written in the japaense article.. the school was not held responsible, it is not my opinion at all.

and the fact that the victim's family did not go for the school but decided to go for the kid's family, that just makes me feel sick.. as a mother of school-age children, this could happen to me, as well as anyone else who has kids that age. what a nightmare...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The second sentence of this article states "The incident occurred when the deceased man was riding a motorbike and fell trying to avoid a soccer ball that rolled out from a school yard." The motorbike rider was deceased while riding a motorbike, zombie land, case closed! If the article had stated that the man now deceased was riding a motorbike that would have made more sense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's interesting to read the comments here but many people are assuming that the boys were not reckless. That might not have been the case. I would just ask people to consider the other possibility:

1) What if the boys knew that there was a risk of some danger? What if they had been playing there for years and hundreds of balls had ended up on the streets resulting in many close calls over the years? What if the parents knew about many of these close calls with disaster, but did not inform the school or stop their child from continuing the dangerous activity?

2) What if there were doctors and independent experts at the trial who all agreed that developing pneumonia and dementia were not unusually in such cases? (Many people seem to be speculating that this isn't medically possible, but I don't think they are doctors).

I'm no fan of Japanese courts but I think all we can say is that there just isn't enough info to decide either way. You should state your assumptions before you say how you think the court should decide the case.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Accidents happen. Please stop wasting time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I read a bit about this in Japanese. It seemed to say that the man didn't develop dementia immediately. He already had it and what was being claimed was that the accident exacerbated his pre-existing condition.... And rather disturbingly, it seems like the entire trial turned on whether the parents has properly raised their child rather than any legal questions on whether the accident was foreseeable by the children or the parents.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Pretty much what everyone else already said... If nothing else school grounds should be a place where kids can be safe and where parents can trust that their children will be safe.

Either the school should be locked up when kids can't go there or the school must take responsiblity here... There is no way kids could understand they shouldn't play at the school unless it was properly locked up/signs posted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Either the school should be locked up when kids can't go there or the school must take responsiblity here.

What a tragic outcome that would be IMO. The school, the park, the beach, all closed because they fear being automatically liable simply for providing an open public space to enjoy. The law puts a premium on personal responsibility but also recognises that some risks are worth taking. Playing in the park on the weekend might be one of those worthwhile risks but where it crosses the line is if someone predicts the danger to another person but chooses not to take reasonable steps to avoid it. In this case you might say the school should have known that placing the goal post so close to the road would be dangerous. IMO, what should have been important was how often the balls had entered the road in the past and who knew of this danger but chose to do nothing... the boys, the school, both, or even the driver who knew of the school and that kids are playing ball games but decided not to slow down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

1) What if the boys knew that there was a risk of some danger? What if they had been playing there for years and hundreds of balls had ended up on the streets resulting in many close calls over the years? What if the parents knew about many of these close calls with disaster, but did not inform the school or stop their child from continuing the dangerous activity?

Even if that's so, the boys (heck, I'll upgrade them to full adults) were well within their legal rights to play soccer on a nationally-created soccer field. If there are any safety considerations involved in making soccer fields, it is the responsibility of the government agency that designed the field that way. It is fundamentally wrong to punish people for exercising their rights. You cannot term playing soccer in a government created soccer field a "dangerous activity"!

Where it [i]might[/i] be possible some small degree of responsibility will fall is if for example the school has already realized the danger and has passed an injunction against using the soccer field pending fence upgrades or the field's permanent removal (which I suspect many schools will do after this, just to avoid legal trouble).

2) What if there were doctors and independent experts at the trial who all agreed that developing pneumonia and dementia were not unusually in such cases? (Many people seem to be speculating that this isn't medically possible, but I don't think they are doctors).

Even if this [i]is[/i] the view of the medical community, [i]unless[/i] this knowledge is well propagated among the laymen (which it clearly is not), it cannot be considered to be a foreseeable consequence. In such a case, it [i]might[/i] go through if the parents happened to be docs and should reasonably know this little-known factoid, but not otherwise.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Litigation insanity !

So if they win on these grounds, and the boy (now an adult), or either of his parents commit suicide, could they not counter claim.

Where does this madness end ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What the heck is going on with this case? Was the sacred apology not given, and res ipsa there is guilt.

Damages need to have negligence or some intent on the kid's part to hit the guy and proximate cause to the negligence/intent and the injury/death.

An 80 year old guy getting dementia. An 80 year old dying. How in the world is that a proximate cause to a misplaced ball. Maybe the broken leg, but I would fault the city and not the kid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That is ridiculous, it was an accident, period, and in no way can a child know where a ball will go, when playing a game.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

let me get this straight

a KID was being a KID ( playing soccer .. on a field )

an OLD MAN was RIDING A SCOOTER

the ball kicked by a KID .... ACCIDENTALLY goes into the street .. OLD MAN riding scooter ( STILL WONDERING WHY HE WAS ALLOWED TO DO THAT AT HIS AGE.... ) is scared as shit of a BALL , therefore crashing his scooter and breaking his leg

in his AT HOME RECOVERY of that BROKEN LEG , he then encounters a case of DEMENTIA .......... then PASSES AWAY 12,13,14,15,16 months later of PNEUMONIA ( that was caused by the DEMENTIA that was caused by a BROKEN LEG that was caused by a SCOOTER ACCIDENT because he was SCARED AZ SHYT of a YOUTH's SOCCER BALL

?!?

and after alllllll these years THE OLD MANS FAMILY has KEPT THIS CASE in court because..............................?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Fate/nature has our card marked from day one........

Do we really want to live in a society that proportions legal responsibility for throwing a couple of shirts on the ground and have a leisurely kick about. I know it is not as simple as that but think about it.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think that this quote says it all:

but it would certainly seem that the liability ought to fall on whoever decided to put a soccer goal right in front of a school entrance gate.

And here I thought that only American courts were this messed up

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't let your lawyers get out of control. We have lots of experience with frivolous law suits in the U.S. You should avoid this in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What a rip...The boy is in way way responsible for this man's death. What kind of farce is this??!?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The plaintiffs need to prove that kicking a ball in a schoolyard was illegal or extremely irresponsible and/or that the boy was aware of any dangers involved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Isn't that one of the first things they teach you in driving school, that you should always be aware of pedestrians, animals, stray objects, etc., etc. when operating a motor vehicle? Why was this man exempted from such basic responsibility in riding his scooter?

The maximum legal speed of a 50cc scooter is only 30 km/h. And this man was riding in a school zone, where the speed limit is presumably lower -- I live near such a zone, and yes, stray baseballs and soccer balls occasionally find their way past fences and netting. When I ride my bicycle or walk past them, it is my responsibility to pay attention to my surroundings. The scooter rider knows he's going right past a soccer field and should be aware. The boys have no idea that an 80-year-old guy on a scooter is suddenly going to come right down the street and swerve in just the wrong way as to break his leg. As a bicyclist and jogger, I literally can't imagine myself suing some school kids over something like this. What disgusting opportunism by the family of the deceased man.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The incident occurred when the deceased man was riding a motorbike..."

Should read "the now deceased man" or "the victim". The way it reads now I get a picture of a zombie or skeleton driving...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What I meant to say is that the boy was in no way responsible for that mans death....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can't even see this kind of lawsuit happening in the USA, the land of litigation. It was an accident.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

so, they protect minors by not disclosing their names and stuff because they are underage and they have future even when they commit a serious crime, but a case like this, this boy probably was seriously traumatized and perhaps he could never enjoy soccer again.. maybe after this incident, the boy and the family have not truly had enjoyed any sports or activities because of this.. is this how the law protects the wealth of children? crazy..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The judges were probably demented 80 year olds too.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

^^^^ .... HHHHA!!

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RIP justice system

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According to Japanese-language reports, the boy was practicing free kicks at the time. An errant strike caused the ball to sail over the school gate and into the path of the eldery man.

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@M3M3M3

1) What if...

What if any normal decent person was a family member of the old man who died a year and a half after falling while trying to avoid a ball that happened to come out of a school yard (heaven forbid the boy for playing at a school yard!). Would a decent person bring charges on the boy's family in such a case? The fact the family is even trying so hard to make a profit off of this tells me that they are the kind of people that would lie about the old man's condition and whatever else they used to weasel their way to this verdict.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I really have to thank the family of the deceased. Once I reach 80 and if my grandchildren are in a pinch. I'll ask them to put me on the wheelchair and park my slab (wheelchair) outside a school, its a guaranteed method of clearing your debt. (Sarcasm)

With all joking aside seriously. It is still a death, a loss of life, my condolences. The child did not intend any harm nor did he target the scooter. It was but an accident. They've already won two previous rulings. Its about time this case be put to rest. Perhaps they plan to hold and win rulings at all prefectures of japan?

If the man died on the spot or shortly afterwards I would understand to a certain degree. In this instance it was a year and a half later. Yes you would have to be quite able or rather healthy to be riding a scooter at 80, just how fast was he going to have sustained such an injury? Again it was an accident and not deliberate. Winning x amounts of hearing (Rulings) would not bring the deceased back.

I remember reading a news piece about a schoolgirl playing dodge ball or some game involving a ball in the UK, when the ball was thrown towards her, upon impacting the chest area, she suffered respiratory/breathing complications and collapsed, they weren't able to save her. The girl who thrown the ball intended no harm and the parents of the deceased understood this, the case was put to rest. The point is , the parents of the deceased were not after makeing money like those in this article

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Strategist I remember reading a news piece about a schoolgirl playing dodge ball or some game involving a ball in the UK, when the ball was thrown towards her, upon impacting the chest area, she suffered respiratory/breathing complications and collapsed, they weren't able to save her. The girl who thrown the ball intended no harm and the parents of the deceased understood this, the case was put to rest. The point is , the parents of the deceased were not after makeing money like those in this article

That's different, those people probably cared about their daughter and got distraught when she passed. In this case, it's an old man and they obviously care for little else than profiting on his death. The case should be rejected though, it's a huge embarrassment that it has reached the highest court in the country. Dementia doesn't just hit out of the blue, any doctor could explain that if brought into court.

I swear, this country is compared to Germany in case of engineering and organizational sophistication, but lately it reminds me more of Italy.

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I don't really understand Japan's "strict liability" approach to accidents. I mean, no one seams to be alleging any sort of negligence or recklessness on the part of the boy or the school. Hell, even causation seems iffy.

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I don't really understand Japan's "strict liability" approach to accidents. I mean, no one seams to be alleging any sort of negligence or recklessness on the part of the boy or the school. Hell, even causation seems iffy.

Welcome to a 'not a common law' country

That's it, I'm not having kids in this reason forsaken 'developed' country and save my purse to live in greener pastures overseas, which won't help Japan's declining birthrate at all.

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4 years later, and I can't find the results of this case.

What happened?

Is there an article I'm missing?

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