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Minors Cases Summarized By Injury Attorney

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Minors. For more information on minors see the pages on Wikipedia.

Minors-Contributory Negligence

1999 Virginia Elec. & Power Co. v. Dungee, 258 Va. 235, 520 S.E.2d 164.

In this electrical injury to a child, defendant moved to strike plaintiff’s case on ground of plaintiff being guilty of negligence as a matter of law. Presumption exists that child is not capable of negligence. Once presumption is rebutted by showing that plaintiff has capacity to understand peril, then defendant has burden to make traditional showing that plaintiff’s conduct amounted to contributory negligence. This requires application of objective reasonable person test, as modified for children. Evidence must show that plaintiff’s conduct did not conform to standard of what reasonable person of like age, intelligence, and experience would do under like circumstances for his own safety and protection. In this case, child crawled through hole under fence to get into electrical sub-station and was, subsequently, severely burned. Plaintiff in this case suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which impaired his ability to understand danger. There was conflicting evidence as to whether plaintiff was warned of precise danger. If he had been warned of precise danger and ignored it, that may be basis for concluding that he is guilty of contributory negligence as a matter of law. Evidence however, both in regards to overcoming presumption and in regards to contributory negligence itself, was in conflict and therefore, was jury issue. For purposes of jury instruction, child actions are to be judged in relation to age, experience, intelligence, and maturity. Virginia Power took issue with inclusion of “maturity” in instruction, suggesting that made standard a subjective one rather than objective. Test for negligence is always objective. With adults, objective test is stated in terms of reasonably prudent person. With children however, law recognizes not only that they are not mature but not all children develop and mature at same rate.

1993 Carson v. LeBlanc, 245 Va. 135, 427 S.E.2d 189.

Child 14 years of age is presumed to have sufficient capacity to be capable of and chargeable with contributory negligence. Standard of care required of such person is to exercise that degree of care expected of child of like age, intelligence, and experience under same or similar circumstances.

1990 Doe v. Dewhirst, 240 Va. 266, 396 S.E.2d 840.

Minor struck while alighting from vehicle. Mother testified that at 10 1/2 years, plaintiff probably knew importance of looking for oncoming traffic. Jury issue created as to whether plaintiff had capacity to appreciate danger.

1986 Endicott v. Rich, 232 Va. 150, 348 S.E.2d 275.

Collision between auto and 13-year-old bicyclist. Auto approached from rear and bicyclist moved in front of auto in attempt to avoid car. To rebut presumption, defendant must establish that in light of minor’s age, intelligence, and experience, he was capable of understanding and appreciating nature of danger and peril associated with his conduct. Although minor knew that riding on highway was dangerous, jury issue was created as to whether he understood and appreciated nature of danger and peril associated with his avoidance maneuver.

1981 Norfolk & P.R.R. v. Barker, 221 Va. 924, 275 S.E.2d 613.

Standard of conduct to which child must conform is that of reasonable person of like age, intelligence, and experience under like circumstances. Plaintiff intentionally jumped on train and was injured. Contributory negligence as matter of law.

1975 Bickley v. Farmer, 215 Va. 484, 211 S.E.2d 66.

Plaintiff’s minor decedent attempted to board school bus but was refused admission by driver. Defendant driver turned off flashers, child attempted to cross road, was struck and killed by co-defendant’s vehicle. Contributory negligence instruction regarding parents of child given. This was reversible error.

1972 Norfolk & Ry. v. Fincham, 213 Va. 122, 189 S.E.2d 380.

Boy between age of 7 and 14 is presumed to be incapable of being negligent. Jury question presented as to whether presumption has been rebutted. Boy injured when railroad car struck him and crushed his right leg.

1966 Shelton v. Mullins, 207 Va. 17, 147 S.E.2d 754.

Negligence of parents, if any, is not imputable to child and would not exonerate driver if latter were guilty of negligence, which was proximate cause of accident.

1966 Meade v. Meade, 206 Va. 823, 147 S.E.2d 171.

Child over 14 is rebuttably presumed to be capable of contributory negligence and assumption of risk.

1965 Alexander v. Moore, 205 Va. 870, 140 S.E.2d 645.

Five-year-old conclusively presumed incapable of negligence.

1963 Grant v. Mays, 204 Va. 41, 129 S.E.2d 10.

Child under seven is conclusively presumed incapable of contributory negligence. Children between ages of 7 and 14 are rebuttably presumed to be incapable of exercising care and caution for their own safety. Child 14 or over is presumed to be capable of contributory negligence. However, such child’s conduct is measured by degree of care that children of same age, experience, discretion, and knowledge would exercise.

1956 Read v. Daniel, 197 Va. 853, 91 S.E.2d 400.

Plaintiff, age eight, walked from behind bus and into side of passing truck. Since child was awarded verdict, issue of contributory negligence was eliminated.

1955 Gough v. Shaner, 197 Va. 572, 90 S.E.2d 171.

Violation of statute or ordinance by child under 14 is not negligence per se. For jury to determine if minor was negligent based on age, intelligence, maturity and experience.

1948 Edgerton v. Norfolk S. Bus Corp., 187 Va. 642, 47 S.E.2d 409.

Child under 14 presumed to be incapable of negligence. This presumption applies to average child.

1947 P.L. Farmer, Inc. v. Cimino, 185 Va. 965, 41 S.E.2d 1.

Child of 7 to 14 is presumed incapable of negligence. This presumption prevails unless overcome by sufficient proof to contrary.

1946 ACLR Co. v. Clements, 184 Va. 656, 36 S.E.2d 553.

Seven-year-old infant incapable of contributory negligence.

1944 Sheckler v. Anderson, 182 Va. 701, 29 S.E.2d 867.

Four-year-old incapable of contributory negligence.

1943 Norfolk S. Ry. v. Wood, 182 Va. 30, 28 S.E.2d 15.

Child between 7 and 14 presumed incapable of negligence.

1943 American Tobacco Co. v. Harrison, 181 Va. 800, 27 S.E.2d 181.

Child between 7 and 14 is favored with rebuttable presumption that he cannot be guilty of contributory negligence where evidence shows that child had not attended school much and was only of average intelligence. This is not sufficient to rebut presumption.

Minors-Dart Out

See Va. Code § 46.2-926 prohibiting pedestrians from stepping into street where they cannot be seen.

1975 Bickley v. Farmer, 215 Va. 484, 211 S.E.2d 66.

Plaintiff’s minor decedent attempted to board school bus but was refused admission by driver. Defendant driver turned off flashers, child attempted to cross road, and was struck and killed by co-defendant’s vehicle. Contributory negligence instruction regarding parents of child was reversible error. Moreover, presence of school bus taking on or discharging school children is warning of danger to drivers upon highway.

1968 Holbert v. Evans, 209 Va. 210, 163 S.E.2d 187.

Defendant proceeding at lawful speed as she passed bushes that had obstructed her view and observed children playing on her left. Defendant slowed down, was watching children when plaintiff, four years old, suddenly ran in front of her vehicle. Despite defendant’s slamming on brakes and turning to right, she still struck child. Not error to give unavoidable accident instructions.

1966 Shelton v. Mullins, 207 Va. 17, 147 S.E.2d 754.

Child struck in roadway between intersection; discussion of duties of driver and negligence of parents and imputability to child.

1966 Smith v. Virginia Transit Co., 206 Va. 951, 147 S.E.2d 110.

Plaintiff, minor, got off bus and ran in front of bus across street. No negligence on part of bus driver or striking vehicle.

1965 Sullivan v. Sutherland, 206 Va. 377, 143 S.E.2d 920.

Driver must increase his exertions in order to avoid danger to children whom he sees or should have seen near highway. Defendant first saw child when he was 25 to 30 feet away and then took his eyes off her. At that point child was only four feet from road, defendant was not entitled to assume that child would behave rationally. Plaintiff’s verdict upheld.

1965 Alexander v. Moore, 205 Va. 870, 140 S.E.2d 645.

Child struck on street. Jury issue as to defendant’s negligence.

1965 Saulsbury v. Williams, 205 Va. 727, 139 S.E.2d 816.

Child crossed street in front of defendant’s parked truck. Jury issue as to whether parked truck rendered use of highway dangerous.

1965 Vought v. Jones, 205 Va. 719, 139 S.E.2d 810.

Plaintiff purchased ice cream from truck and then crossed street and was struck. Jury issue as to negligence of both defendants.

1964 Virginia Transit Co. v. Schain, 205 Va. 373, 137 S.E.2d 22.

Child ran into side of bus between intersections. No negligence as to defendant.

1960 Gabbard v. Knight, 202 Va. 40, 116 S.E.2d 73.

Jury question presented where child walked into defendant’s lane of traffic about 40 to 50 feet in front of defendant.

1960 Baker v. Richardson, 201 Va. 834, 114 S.E.2d 599.

Plaintiff darted out allegedly in plain view of defendant. Jury verdict for defendant reversed and remanded.

1959 Dickerson v. Ball, 200 Va. 809, 108 S.E.2d 256.

Child darted out between two parked cars. Evidence showed that defendant could not have seen plaintiff until he entered street and that even if he had been traveling slightly over speed limit this was not proximate cause of accident.

1958 Richardson v. Lovvorn, 199 Va. 688, 101 S.E.2d 511.

Plaintiff was seven-year-old child. He did not testify and precise details of accident were never established except to show negligence on part of defendant. Issue of proximate cause was left to jury.

1957 Hoier v. Noel, 199 Va. 151, 98 S.E.2d 673.

Burden on plaintiff to show that children in street had sufficient time before accident, and sufficient distance ahead of car, for defendant in exercising ordinary care to have seen him and avoided him.

1956 Read v. Daniel, 197 Va. 853, 91 S.E.2d 400.

Plaintiff, child of eight, walked from behind bus and into side of passing truck. Verdict for plaintiff supported by evidence.

1956 Birtcherd Dairy, Inc. v. Edwards, 197 Va. 830, 91 S.E.2d 421.

Dart out case. One defendant allegedly illegally parked his vehicle.

1955 Conrad v. Taylor, 197 Va. 188, 89 S.E.2d 40.

Ordinarily, driver is not required to search for children that he cannot see before starting; however, where as here, there was evidence that defendant knew that children of tender age of three years were playing around his car almost immediately before starting it, question of negligence of defendant in not making investigation as to their whereabouts was properly submitted to jury.

1954 Carpenter v. Atlantic Coast Line Ry., 195 Va. 530, 79 S.E.2d 603.

Railroad train struck and killed two boys who suddenly appeared on tracks. Facts showed no negligence on the part of defendants.

1952 Burrell v. Burrell, 193 Va. 594, 70 S.E.2d 316.

Plaintiff’s decedent, a minor, struck and killed by defendant’s truck. Evidence as to how accident occurred in substantial conflict. Jury question presented.

1952 Nosay v. Owens, 193 Va. 343, 68 S.E.2d 531.

Plaintiff infant ran from behind car which hid him from defendant’s view and struck side of defendant’s automobile. No actionable negligence.

1951 Boyd v. Brown, 192 Va. 702, 66 S.E.2d 559.

If driver sees or should have seen presence of child in or near street, law imposes on him duty to take into consideration that child might act thoughtlessly.

1949 Williams v. Blue Bird Cab Co., 189 Va. 402, 52 S.E.2d 868.

Child darted out in front of defendant’s taxicab. Verdict in favor of defendant affirmed. Driver who sees children in area he is approaching has duty to increase his vigilance.

1948 Hooker v. Hancock, 188 Va. 345, 49 S.E.2d 711.

One who suddenly places himself immediately in front of moving automobile that is readily observable is generally guilty of negligence per se.

1948 Hamilton v. Glemming, 187 Va. 309, 46 S.E.2d 438.

Defendant alleged child darted out. Defendant entitled to sudden emergency instruction.

1946 Clark v. Hodges, 185 Va. 431, 39 S.E.2d 252.

Presence of tricycle on sidewalk is not sufficient to put motorist on notice of possibility of children darting out into traffic.

1944 Sheckler v. Anderson, 182 Va. 701, 29 S.E.2d 867.

Minor plaintiff struck on roadway.

1943 American Tobacco Co. v. Harrison, 181 Va. 800, 27 S.E.2d 181.

Plaintiff alleged to have darted in front of defendant’s vehicle. Verdict for plaintiff affirmed.

Minors-Duty Toward

See Va. Code § 40.1-103 as to duties of employers and custodians toward children.

2014 Lasley v. Hylton, 764 S.E.2d 88.

Minor child injured while driving ATV at home of host. Father is present and consents to the child operating the ATV. When parent is actively supervising child then parent’s duty supersedes that of host.

1994 Thomas v. Settle, 247 Va. 15, 439 S.E.2d 360.

The standard of care to be applied to minor while operating motor vehicle is same as to be applied to adult.

1990 Hall v. Hall, 240 Va. 360, 397 S.E.2d 829.

Defendant backed up motor vehicle in yard where he knew children were playing. Degree of care required of operator of motor vehicle not to injure child that he has seen or should have seen is commensurate with apparent ability of child, taking into consideration his age, maturity, and intelligence to foresee danger and probability of injury. It is a matter of common knowledge that actions of child are unpredictable and that he acts thoughtlessly and based upon childish impulses. Jury question presented as to whether or not driver was guilty of negligence.

1986 Endicott v. Rich, 232 Va. 150, 348 S.E.2d 275.

Collision between auto and boys on bicycles. Jury issue as to whether motorists exercised proper degree of care upon approaching and passing boys.

1981 Norfolk & P.R.R. v. Barker, 221 Va. 924, 275 S.E.2d 613.

Person who sees child standing near moving train must assume child will commit some careless act. But person is not required to anticipate child will expose himself to known danger intentionally.

1971 Claypoole v. King, 212 Va. 132, 183 S.E.2d 167.

Plaintiff over 14 years. Defendant owed plaintiff only duty of exercising ordinary care. If plaintiff had been of tender years then higher degree of care is called for.

1965 Burnette v. McDonald, 206 Va. 186, 142 S.E.2d 495.

If operator of motor vehicle sees or should have seen child in or near street, it is his duty to take into consideration fact that child might act impulsively.

1965 Alexander v. Moore, 205 Va. 870, 140 S.E.2d 645.

Driver must exercise peculiar care to avoid danger to children whom he may or reasonably should see on or near highway.

1965 Vought v. Jones, 205 Va. 719, 139 S.E.2d 810.

Defendant saw ice cream truck on side of road. Given skids and distance infant plaintiff thrown by impact, jury issue presented as to defendant.

1964 Virginia Transit Co. v. Schain, 205 Va. 373, 137 S.E.2d 22.

Motorist who sees or should have seen children near road is obliged to consider that child may act thoughtlessly.

1963 Barner v. Whitehead, 204 Va. 634, 133 S.E.2d 283.

Trial court forbade inquiry by plaintiff’s counsel into defendant’s actual knowledge of habits of children at play, need to protect children at play and defendant’s awareness of school signs as being irrelevant. Supreme Court refused to rule since objection not preserved. Verdict for defendant sustained.

1963 Dockery v. City of Norton, 204 Va. 752, 133 S.E.2d 296.

City left pipes on side of road. Plaintiff injured while playing on pipes. City owed duty to plaintiff to have pipes in reasonably safe condition.

1961 Wright v. Kelly, 203 Va. 135, 122 S.E.2d 670.

Person who has seen or should have seen child near road owes him duty of care commensurate with child’s ability to avoid injury.

1960 Newton v. Carpenter, 202 Va. 347, 117 S.E.2d 109.

Child struck by automobile. Evidence of fact that children frequently played in this area and that defendant was aware of that was not admitted because it would have no probative value as to whether defendant was guilty of negligence. The Supreme Court expressed no opinion as to whether it was admissible since case was disposed of on other grounds.

1960 Gabbard v. Knight, 202 Va. 40, 116 S.E.2d 73.

Standard of care owed to child is different than standard owed to adult. Driver must increase his exertions in order to avoid danger to children that he may see or by exercise of reasonable care should see on or near highway.

1960 Baker v. Richardson, 201 Va. 834, 114 S.E.2d 599.

Dart out case. Conduct of child is not measured by same rules that apply to adult. Driver is charged with knowledge that five-year-old child may act on childish impulses.

1959 Jones v. Aluminum Window & Door Corp., 201 Va. 283, 110 S.E.2d 531.

Collision between truck and bicyclist. Child under age of 14 operating bike along highway is itself warning of danger.

1959 Dickerson v. Ball, 200 Va. 809, 108 S.E.2d 256.

No merit in contention that because children were playing on both sides of street (though well back from curb) defendant should have anticipated that other children might be near and might run into street.

1959 Ruett v. Nottingham, 200 Va. 722, 107 S.E.2d 402.

Degree of care owed child is proportionate to apparent ability of child in view of his age, maturity, and intelligence to foresee and avoid perils which he may encounter.

1956 Read v. Daniel, 197 Va. 853, 91 S.E.2d 400.

Operator of vehicle must consider that child might act thoughtlessly. Where it appears driver could not have seen child, recoveries have been denied; several cases cited.

1956 Ward v. Lewis, 197 Va. 811, 91 S.E.2d 893.

Defendant came out of house to her car, saw plaintiff’s two-year-old heading to house across street, backed out, and struck and killed child. Motion to strike granted. Evidence failed to show location of defendant’s car in driveway, distance child was from car when seen, or time elapsed before car was moved. Though higher duty of care is owed to children than to adults, these facts do not prove or infer negligence on defendant’s part.

1956 Hall v. Miles, 197 Va. 644, 90 S.E.2d 815.

While not insurer of child’s safety, motorist owes to child duty of care commensurate with probability of injury under circumstances. Verdict for defendant affirmed.

1955 Conrad v. Taylor, 197 Va. 188, 89 S.E.2d 40.

Duty of reasonable care owed by driver of motor vehicle toward children is commensurate with probability of injury under circumstances.

1951 Boyd v. Brown, 192 Va. 702, 66 S.E.2d 559.

Contains listing of cases involving children. If driver sees or should have seen child near street, he must take into consideration that child might act thoughtlessly.

1949 Williams v. Blue Bird Cab Co., 189 Va. 402, 52 S.E.2d 868.

Where motorist has seen children playing near street, he must take into consideration that they might act thoughtlessly.

1948 Washabaugh v. Northern Va. Constr. Co., 187 Va. 767, 48 S.E.2d 276.

Whether there is duty to take precautions for safety of children depends on whether danger to which they are exposed is open, obvious, natural, and common to all or whether it is hidden and latent.

1948 Edgerton v. Norfolk S. Bus Corp., 187 Va. 642, 47 S.E.2d 409.

Law recognizes that children act upon childish impulses and requires those charged with duty of care and caution toward them to calculate upon this.

1947 White v. Edwards’ Chevrolet Co., 186 Va. 669, 43 S.E.2d 870.

Driver is under no legal obligation to make search around and under his car lest child undirected by his parents has tucked himself away in obscure place beyond casual and convenient notice of driver.

1946 Clark v. Hodges, 185 Va. 431, 39 S.E.2d 252.

When motorist knows or ought to know that children are liable to be present in highway then failure to exercise that degree of care that careful men would exercise under same situation is negligence.

1946 Virginia Stage Lines v. Spencer, 184 Va. 870, 36 S.E.2d 522.

Driver of vehicle must increase his exertions so as to avoid injuring child whom he sees or by exercise of reasonable care should see on or near road.

1945 Piccolo v. Woodford, 184 Va. 432, 35 S.E.2d 393.

Reference to prior case as to duty owed to children.

1944 Crosswhite v. Shelby Oper. Corp., 182 Va. 713, 30 S.E.2d 673.

Suit against innkeeper. Extraordinary care may be required in protection of infants too young to care for themselves.

1943 Dennis v. Odend’Hal-Monks Corp., 182 Va. 77, 28 S.E.2d 4.

Rule regarding trespassers has no application where children of immature years are concerned.

Minors-Parent/Child

See Va. Code §§ 8.01-8 and 8.01-36 as to how minors sue.

See Va. Code §§ 8.01-43 and 8.01-44 dealing with liability of parents for damage to property committed by their children.

See Va. Code § 8.01-243, which sets forth five-year statute of limitations as to action by parent or guardian of infant against tortfeasor for expenses of curing or attempting to cure such infant from result of personal injury or loss of service.

2003 Herndon v. St. Mary’s Hosp., Inc., 266 Va. 472, 587 S.E.2d 567.

Medical malpractice action involving minor where mother brought suit in her name as mother and next friend of minor was improperly styled and therefore, subject to dismissal. Suit should have been brought in name of minor by his next friend. Court found Va. Code § 8.01-8 to be ambiguous and in interpreting that section, stated that statutes will be interpreted so as to not change the common law unless the legislative intent to do so is plainly manifested. In this case, the action was properly dismissed without prejudice.

2001 Thompson v. Skate Am., Inc., 261 Va. 121, 540 S.E.2d 123.

Business invitee who was allegedly injured in criminal assault on business premises stated negligence claim against business owner by alleging that owner had specific knowledge of assailant’s propensity to assault its other invitees, had intervened to inhibit that behavior in past, had taken steps to avoid that behavior in future by banning assailant from its premises, and that owner therefore had duty to protect invitee from assailant’s criminal acts. In this case, special relationship existed between business owner and invitee for purposes of determining whether owner had duty to protect invitee from criminal acts of third persons. In this case, however, parent had no duty to protect victim from assault by parent’s minor son and thus, parent not liable to victim under theory of negligent parental supervision even if assault occurred at public place from which parent knew minor had been banned for aggressive conduct.

1996 Chapman v. City of Virginia Beach, 252 Va. 186, 475 S.E.2d 798.

Wrongful death action involving death of child trapped in gate near city boardwalk. Parent has duty to exercise ordinary care for child’s safety but this does not impose absolute requirement that parent oversee and guide child’s activities every moment. In this instance parent was familiar with area in question where child was playing and was watching child from apartment window and then turned away for just a couple of minutes during which time child was injured. No basis for contributory negligence instruction.

1987 Bell v. Hudgins, 232 Va. 491, 352 S.E.2d 332.

In absence of master/servant, principal/agent relationship, fact of paternity alone does not impose liability on parents for torts of their minor child. Supreme Court refuses to adopt Restatement position that may impose liability on parents for failure to control child.

1975 Bickley v. Farmer, 215 Va. 484, 211 S.E.2d 66.

Plaintiff’s minor decedent attempted to board school bus but was refused admission by driver. Defendant driver turned off flashers, child attempted to cross road, and was struck and killed by co-defendant’s vehicle. Contributory negligence instruction regarding parents of child given; reversible error.

1972 Aragona Enters. v. Miller, 213 Va. 298, 191 S.E.2d 804.

Plaintiff’s infant decedent fell into drainage ditch near apartment building and received injuries which proved fatal. Landlord not liable to tenant or members of tenant’s family, whether adult or infant, for injury resulting from open and obvious condition existing at inception of tenancy and which tenant knew or had means of knowing equal to landlord.

1972 Wright v. Wright, 213 Va. 177, 191 S.E.2d 223.

Father maintained storage shed for business purposes on his property; daughter injured when she fell upon or against sharp objects stored in yard near shed. Injury to unemancipated child was not related to business purpose, therefore, child cannot maintain action for injuries resulting from ordinary act of negligence on part of parent.

1972 Norfolk S. Ry. v. Fincham, 213 Va. 122, 189 S.E.2d 380.

Father’s cause of action for medical and incidental expense was derivative action, and since there was no verdict for son, there could be none for father.

1967 Chappell v. Smith, 208 Va. 272, 156 S.E.2d 572.

Infant plaintiff claimed medical expenses and lost wages in his own name.

1966 Shelton v. Mullins, 207 Va. 17, 147 S.E.2d 754.

Negligence of parents, if any, is not imputable to child and would not exonerate driver if latter were guilty of negligence which was proximate cause of accident.

1965 Wagman v. Boccheciampe, 206 Va. 412, 143 S.E.2d 907.

Infant plaintiff injured on landlord’s common area. No duty on part of landlord to warn parents that child may be engaged in dangerous play. It is duty of parents under common law to supervise their children. That duty will not be shifted to landlord in this case where child is injured.

1961 Moses v. Akers, 203 Va. 130, 122 S.E.2d 864.

Minor’s action is for pain and suffering, permanent injury, and loss of wages after majority. Claim for medical expenses belongs to parent. Infant entitled to recover medical expenses if: (1) he has agreed to pay, (2) he alone is responsible, (3) parent has waived right in favor of child, and (4) recovery allowed by law.

1951 Nixon v. Rowland, 192 Va. 47, 63 S.E.2d 757.

In absence of relation of master/servant or principal/agent, parent is not liable for tort of child.

1951 Tri-State Coach Corp. v. Stidham, 191 Va. 790, 62 S.E.2d 894.

Defendant’s bus struck and killed plaintiff’s minor decedent. Carrier has right to rely upon presumption that parent or person having custody of child of tender years will take care of child, but is not entitled to act upon that presumption where carrier’s employees who are engaged in operation of its bus know, or, in exercise of reasonable care and diligence should know, that such child is or will be exposed to danger or injuries by acts or negligence of carrier’s employees.

1947 P.L. Farmer, Inc. v. Cimino, 185 Va. 965, 41 S.E.2d 1.

Minor was killed when coal truck tipped over in yard. Defendant argued that mother was guilty of negligence in allowing child out in yard when coal was being unloaded. There is nothing inherently dangerous in unloading coal truck, therefore mother not obliged to keep child indoors.

1943 American Tobacco Co. v. Harrison, 181 Va. 800, 27 S.E.2d 181.

Defendant contended in this dart out case that negligence of parents in allowing plaintiff to cross street could be imputed to plaintiff. The rule in Virginia is that in personal injury actions negligence of parent will not be imputed to child.

Torts of Minor

See Va. Code § 8.01-64 as to liability for negligence of minors in vehicle cases.

1961 Moses v. Akers, 203 Va. 130, 122 S.E.2d 864.

Judgment against minor void where no guardian ad litem appointed.

1960 Midkiff v. Midkiff, 201 Va. 829, 113 S.E.2d 875.

It is well settled that infant is generally liable for his torts.

1952 Riddle v. Barksdale, 194 Va. 766, 75 S.E.2d 507.

Omission to appoint guardian ad litem for infant defendant or next friend for infant plaintiff is reversible error unless judgment or decree is to infant’s advantage.

1948 Cape Charles Flying Serv. v. Nottingham, 187 Va. 444, 47 S.E.2d 540.

Verdict returned against infant defendant without guardian ad litem being appointed. Verdict overturned.

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Minors Cases Summarized By Injury Attorney

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