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Top court rules parents not liable after son's wayward soccer ball leads to man’s death

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Finally a bit of logic, arghhh see its not all bad phew!

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Common sense prevails...what a stressful ten years for the boy and his family. Courts should have nipped this in the bud before it went this far. More common sense needed.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

"nipped in the bud" hahahaha thanks!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good ruling.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sjeesh! Finally someone with common sense.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Glad to see the Supreme Cort showed a good degree of common sense with their ruling. The ruling, however, doesn't specifically mention the Supreme Court's take on the old man's family claim of a casual relationship between the accident, the onset of dementia and death from pneumonia which they said were directly linked to the injuries from the crash.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The sad part is, it had to go to supreme court. How greedy people can be!!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

10 years of legal fees has taken it's toll, I'm sure. Hopefully they can now start to have a normal life.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

finally some common sense from the Japanese courts, one step back two steps forward

7 ( +7 / -0 )

In any other country the tort would be against the school for their placement of the goals, access to the road etc.

How absurd.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

So, commonsense prevails! There was a long TV segment about this yesterday. The field the ball bounced out of only had a 1.3m high fence around it. There was also an open drain, but the ball bounced on the cement bridge over the drain. No doubt, they will be attempting to sue the school and the board of education now. Some people just can't understabd the concept of 'an accident'!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

this is such a landmark case, but so many readers are caught up on the idea of "common sense." if we look at it from a different angle: if the boy kicked the ball and it broke a window, wouldn't you expect the parents to pay for damages?

My problem with this case was how could they link the accident to his dementia, which then led to his death from pnuemonia. that's quite a stretch in my book.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

took them long enough. i understand they sued the boy's family cause they were advised they wouldn't get any money from the school (as government entity, the court will protect their own)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Reasonable decision by the court. However, for all those who say this was about greed and money, I can guarentee you that is was not. Like many cases, the parents, the school, the city etc probably refused to admit any wrong doing for fear of being blamed (we all know how it works in Japan) and it must have infuriated the family. A simple apology and some sympathy probably could have gone a long way to avoiding this.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Top court rules parents not liable after son's wayward soccer ball leads to man’s death

Common sense at last

1 ( +1 / -0 )

took them long enough. i understand they sued the boy's family cause they were advised they wouldn't get any money from the school (as government entity, the court will protect their own)

There certainly seems to be a sense that in cases like this, the "victims" will go after whomever seems to be the weakest, rather than (in my litigation-happy home country) whomever has the deepest pockets.

I was once hit by a speeding automobile while on a bicycle and was thrown into the air, landing on the hood of the car. When talking with police, I was advised that if I officially reported the accident, the driver's insurance company would probably sue me for the cost of repairing his car hood, and without an insurance company of my own to back me, they would exaggerate the costs and I would be very much out of pocket (in addition to the physical injuries I suffered).

You see this a lot. A few years ago an elderly person was hit by a cyclist and ended up dying from the injuries -- the big, powerful insurance company that was in the elderly person's corner sued (and presumably bankrupted) the parents of the cyclist.

It's one thing to sue a rich corporation or government in hopes that they will settle with you just to get rid of you. It's quite another to opportunistically sue someone with pockets no more full than yours, just because you think they might not be able to defend themselves. I'm very happy that the descendants of the elderly man -- who is no longer alive to enjoy any fruits of this case -- lost their attempt at a legal mugging.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here's to the boy and his family now suing g the other greedy, (insane?) family for causing unwarranted distress for a decade! Unbelievable that they even considered following this cruel, unjust line of reasoning. That boy and his family have been through hell because of their selfishness!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Excellent decision (which shouldn't have been necessary in the first place). If there's anyone to blame and sue, it's the idiot who thought it unnecessary to put a higher fence and a gate around a soccer field.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A simple apology and some sympathy probably could have gone a long way to avoiding this.

For one thing, you imagined this. For another thing, even if that was indeed the scenario in our increasingly litigious world, that would have been a perfectly understandable move.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The man in his 80s was passing by the school on his scooter at about the same time as the schoolboy kicked a soccer ball at a goal placed near the gate."

Surely this should be not that the old man was passing by the school gate at "about the time", but "at exactly the time the schoolboy kicked a soccer ball"?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A man that old on a powered, unbalanced vehicle is an accident waiting to happen. Glad they finally made the right decision.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Finally! Some common sense justice!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All this happened due to the crash? Unbelievable!

If he were bedridden since the accident, it's entirely plausible. That has not been clear in any of the news reports, though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It took them 10 years to get this ruling settled? That's awful! You could be sued and brought to ruin for any kind of freak accident for that only higher powers can be responsible.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nakanoguy01Apr. 10, 2015 - 05:27PM JST this is such a landmark case, but so many readers are caught up on the idea of "common sense." if we look at it from a different angle: if the boy kicked the ball and it broke a window, wouldn't you expect the parents to pay for damages?

Except that's in no way an accurate analogy. A more accurate analogy would be if the boy kicked the ball and it hit a window, and then in a gale 18 months later the window broke and the owner of the window tried to make out that it was all the fault of the boy's ball weakening the window.

... which is just ridiculous.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Any lawsuit against the parents should have been dropped before it began. It is in NO way their fault. Now, if they had sued the school I would say they would have had much better of a chance of success, and there actually is grounds for it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sometimes these sorts of lawsuits DO have merit in a non-litigious country like Japan: some years back a driver parked his truck at night on a street in Japan with no street lights. A 19 year old boy crashed his motorcycle into this truck and died instantly (the truck would have been invisible to him in the darkness). The police told the parents the accident could not be attributed to the truck driver because the law clearly states that the the driver of the MOVING vehicle is at fault. Some time later the driver sent a bill to the parents for the repairs to his truck. This motivated the parents not to give up and later it was ruled that the 19 year old boy was NOT at fault.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

WOW, couldn't believe I was reading this headline when I clicked onto jt!

I see I am far far far from the only who noticed COMMON SENSE for bloody once, its is SUPER RARE for it to kick in, I have seen far far too often the lack of.

This is a miracle!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You do NOT get dementia from a broken leg! You can get a urinary infection in hospital which can lead to dementia-like symptoms (my dad had that) but they pass eventually.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Thank God for this ruling! I honestly think it was pretty greedy, even embarrassing of the man's family to sue for that kind of money... Really, it was an accident and no one could have done anything.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A lot of comments here and elsewhere focus on the whether causation between the errant ball causing the accident (it appears it did) and the development of dementia and ultimately death. While very interesting, whre to cut-off liability along the diminishing link of causation was not the primary legal issue before the Supreme Court.

Whether parents’ oversight responsibilities extends to normal actions of their children was. If it does not, as the Court held, then causation never is an issue.

For anyone to be liable they first must owe a duty of care to the injured person. If you have no duty to someone, then if they get injured, it is not your problem. This makes perfect sense. It gets sticky, though, just exactly to whom I or you owe a duty of care. That was the issue here. Do parents owe a duty of care to people injured by the normal activities of children. And the court answered, no.

Parents still owe a duty of care to protect people when their children are engaged in adult, or abnormally dangerous activities. So, if your elementary school kid throws bottles off a building, you are liable. If your kid dashes out into the street, you are liable. Both of these are abnormally dangerous.

Kicking a ball in a schoolyard is not.

That said, the school appears to have violated its duty to protect passersby from getting a ball kicked in their path. But not according to Court, "and that no one could have foreseen a soccer ball would cause an accident,"

In the US and the UK, oh yes you could.

But that's the law in Japan now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If the victim's family sued /school and school district on low fence etc, they might won, collecting from insurance company for district and school. For some reason, they sued wrong party. Some people are not satisfied with insurance payment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

toshikoApr. 11, 2015 - 05:54AM JST If the victim's family sued /school and school district on low fence etc, they might won, collecting from insurance company for district and school.

Except that their lawyer probably told them that suing schools and government offices was a no-win prospect. The judges in Japan tend to be very pro-government and pro-companies.

Private individuals are much easier targets (as we've seen in this case where some lower courts found against the parents despite the pathetically thin case), which is why they went after the parents.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

n an attempt to avoid the ball, the elderly rider fell over and broke his leg. According to the subsequent trials, the man then began to show signs of dementia and about 18 months later, he succumbed to pneumonia which his family said was directly linked to injuries he received in the crash. They filed suit, demanding 50 million yen in compensation.

Ball did not hit him. He died with pneumonia 18 month later. Ball did not kill him. The boy's family spent time and money and finally won,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So good to read that. Finally common sense prevails. The previous judgement was simply insane on so many levels.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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