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  1. #1
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    4 year old racing bicyclist sued for negligence

    Times are changing, you hit someone on your bike, and you are over the age of 4, you can be sued and held for negligence. This just showed up on Yahoo News.

    Keep in mind, this happened on a sidewalk, something in use by pedestrians. As are multi use trails in use by pedestrians. There is also a blurb there about "holding a person accountable for encouraging risky behavior."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/ny...o_interstitial


    4-Year-Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules in Bike Case
    By ALAN FEUER
    Published: October 28, 2010
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    Citing cases dating back as far as 1928, a judge has ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence.
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    The ruling by the judge, Justice Paul Wooten of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, did not find that the girl was liable, but merely permitted a lawsuit brought against her, another boy and their parents to move forward.

    The suit that Justice Wooten allowed to proceed claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both 4, were racing their bicycles, under the supervision of their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, on the sidewalk of a building on East 52nd Street. At some point in the race, they struck an 87-year-old woman named Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and, according to the complaint, was “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three weeks later.

    Her estate sued the children and their mothers, claiming they had acted negligently during the accident. In a response, Juliet’s lawyer, James P. Tyrie, argued that the girl was not “engaged in an adult activity” at the time of the accident — “She was riding her bicycle with training wheels under the supervision of her mother” — and was too young to be held liable for negligence.

    In legal papers, Mr. Tyrie added, “Courts have held that an infant under the age of 4 is conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence.” (Rachel and Jacob Kohn did not seek to dismiss the case against them.)

    But Justice Wooten declined to stretch that rule to children over 4. On Oct. 1, he rejected a motion to dismiss the case because of Juliet’s age, noting that she was three months shy of turning 5 when Ms. Menagh was struck, and thus old enough to be sued.

    Mr. Tyrie “correctly notes that infants under the age of 4 are conclusively presumed incapable of negligence,” Justice Wooten wrote in his decision, referring to the 1928 case. “Juliet Breitman, however, was over the age of 4 at the time of the subject incident. For infants above the age of 4, there is no bright-line rule.”

    The New York Law Journal reported the decision on Thursday.

    Mr. Tyrie had also argued that Juliet should not be held liable because her mother was present; Justice Wooten disagreed.

    “A parent’s presence alone does not give a reasonable child carte blanche to engage in risky behavior such as running across a street,” the judge wrote. He added that any “reasonably prudent child,” who presumably has been told to look both ways before crossing a street, should know that dashing out without looking is dangerous, with or without a parent there. The crucial factor is whether the parent encourages the risky behavior; if so, the child should not be held accountable.

    In Ms. Menagh’s case, however, there was nothing to indicate that Juliet’s mother “had any active role in the alleged incident, only that the mother was ‘supervising,’ a term that is too vague to hold meaning here,” he wrote. He concluded that there was no evidence of Juliet’s “lack of intelligence or maturity” or anything to “indicate that another child of similar age and capacity under the circumstances could not have reasonably appreciated the danger of riding a bicycle into an elderly woman.”

    Mr. Tyrie, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn did not respond to messages seeking comment.

    A version of this article appeared in print on October 29, 2010, on page


  2. #2
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    wtf that is absolutly ridicoulous there 4 years old they dnt no any better!!!!! ppl are efffffed!
    keep the rubber side down!!

  3. #3
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    This is obsurd.. What is the world coming too? Sad....sad..
    "We can always find excuses if we want to find them, but if we really want to do something, we have to just go."

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    It's been a case precedent since 1928, nothing is new. Just saying, be careful out there, ride in control, and know that if you hit someone, you can be held liable for negligence.

    Best bet is to ride areas / bike parks that have controlled, one way traffic trails to avoid such risks with pedestrians or equestrians.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    It's been a case precedent since 1928, nothing is new. Just saying, be careful out there, ride in control, and know that if you hit someone, you can be held liable for negligence.

    Best bet is to ride areas / bike parks that have controlled, one way traffic trails to avoid such risks with pedestrians or equestrians.
    I think if I were to hit you on the trail, I'd get an award from everyone on the Arizona forum... They'd be cheering "whoooo skidhucker!!!!"

  6. #6
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    What about the grandma for being involved in risky behavior by being over the age of 85 and strolling on a sidewalk in NY by herself? Or her children for that matter for not putting her in a retirement home, thus allowing her to live a risky lifestyle? I'm only kidding, but these arguments would have held up in a court like that... What an ******* of a judge.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExCactus
    What about the grandma for being involved in risky behavior by being over the age of 85 and strolling on a sidewalk in NY by herself? Or her children for that matter for not putting her in a retirement home, thus allowing her to live a risky lifestyle? I'm only kidding, but these arguments would have held up in a court like that... What an ******* of a judge.
    hahaha yeah. i understand the premise but when people start sueing other people for little mistakes kids make the world is screwed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skidhucker
    I think if I were to hit you on the trail, I'd get an award from everyone on the Arizona forum... They'd be cheering "whoooo skidhucker!!!!"


    Then you'd be no more intelligent than the 4 year old kid that ended up in court as a co defendant with her mother?
    .
    Last edited by Boyonabyke; 10-29-2010 at 04:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    hahaha yeah. i understand the premise but when people start sueing other people for little mistakes kids make the world is screwed.
    When someone ends up dead three weeks later from the incident, it's no longer a "little mistake." It's being ignorant and acting irresponsibly.

  10. #10
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    that dont matter the kids r 4 they dont no any better hes right the werld is screwed when that happens
    keep the rubber side down!!

  11. #11
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    I think humanity last peaked sometime in the 1950s, its been an exponentiol curve downwards since.

    Stuff like this?, edit, ...reading this properly, its the judge that needs a kick in the teeth

  12. #12
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    The legal system and its illusion over-protectiveness and complete lack of common sense and lack of a working system of checks and balances will be the downfall of our society.

    In 100 years, if you're not a lawyer, you're nobody.
    Meh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    When someone ends up dead three weeks later from the incident, it's no longer a "little mistake." It's being ignorant and acting irresponsibly.

    You must have skipped the part where it said she died of unrelated causes. Or did you ignore that part?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sodak06
    This is obsurd.. What is the world coming too? Sad....sad..
    what is America coming to?

    totally ridicules like most court cases in America, get over your selves!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccspecialized
    You must have skipped the part where it said she died of unrelated causes. Or did you ignore that part?
    Apparently, I also missed the part where it said she died of unrelated causes. Re-read it still can't find it. Just because she died three weeks later does not mean it is unrelated. Just because she had to have hip surgery does not mean it is unrelated.
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    Sounds like vehicular manslaughter to me.

  17. #17
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    A 1928 precedent?? Really, because that precedent was determined by a judge that lived in a very different world. Do we not see things differently now?

    Think of the other laws that people lived by back then. Prohibition, was from 1920 to 1933, that when the precedent was established. The judge that established the precedent hadn't had a drink in 8 years, of course he was a grumpy old man who hated kids. Or was it that he knew all the bootleggers and was actually trashed at the time?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    Times are changing, you hit someone on your bike, and you are over the age of 4, you can be sued and held for negligence. This just showed up on Yahoo News.

    Keep in mind, this happened on a sidewalk, something in use by pedestrians. As are multi use trails in use by pedestrians. There is also a blurb there about "holding a person accountable for encouraging risky behavior."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/ny...o_interstitial


    4-Year-Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules in Bike Case
    By ALAN FEUER
    Published: October 28, 2010
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    Citing cases dating back as far as 1928, a judge has ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence.
    Readers' Comments
    Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
    Read All Comments (353) »
    The ruling by the judge, Justice Paul Wooten of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, did not find that the girl was liable, but merely permitted a lawsuit brought against her, another boy and their parents to move forward.

    The suit that Justice Wooten allowed to proceed claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both 4, were racing their bicycles, under the supervision of their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, on the sidewalk of a building on East 52nd Street. At some point in the race, they struck an 87-year-old woman named Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and, according to the complaint, was “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three weeks later.

    Her estate sued the children and their mothers, claiming they had acted negligently during the accident. In a response, Juliet’s lawyer, James P. Tyrie, argued that the girl was not “engaged in an adult activity” at the time of the accident — “She was riding her bicycle with training wheels under the supervision of her mother” — and was too young to be held liable for negligence.

    In legal papers, Mr. Tyrie added, “Courts have held that an infant under the age of 4 is conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence.” (Rachel and Jacob Kohn did not seek to dismiss the case against them.)

    But Justice Wooten declined to stretch that rule to children over 4. On Oct. 1, he rejected a motion to dismiss the case because of Juliet’s age, noting that she was three months shy of turning 5 when Ms. Menagh was struck, and thus old enough to be sued.

    Mr. Tyrie “correctly notes that infants under the age of 4 are conclusively presumed incapable of negligence,” Justice Wooten wrote in his decision, referring to the 1928 case. “Juliet Breitman, however, was over the age of 4 at the time of the subject incident. For infants above the age of 4, there is no bright-line rule.”

    The New York Law Journal reported the decision on Thursday.

    Mr. Tyrie had also argued that Juliet should not be held liable because her mother was present; Justice Wooten disagreed.

    “A parent’s presence alone does not give a reasonable child carte blanche to engage in risky behavior such as running across a street,” the judge wrote. He added that any “reasonably prudent child,” who presumably has been told to look both ways before crossing a street, should know that dashing out without looking is dangerous, with or without a parent there. The crucial factor is whether the parent encourages the risky behavior; if so, the child should not be held accountable.

    In Ms. Menagh’s case, however, there was nothing to indicate that Juliet’s mother “had any active role in the alleged incident, only that the mother was ‘supervising,’ a term that is too vague to hold meaning here,” he wrote. He concluded that there was no evidence of Juliet’s “lack of intelligence or maturity” or anything to “indicate that another child of similar age and capacity under the circumstances could not have reasonably appreciated the danger of riding a bicycle into an elderly woman.”

    Mr. Tyrie, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn did not respond to messages seeking comment.

    A version of this article appeared in print on October 29, 2010, on page

    Hey man, just wondering - did you leave out the words about "unrelated causes" when you copied the article? Cause those words are there, if you click the link to the original.

    Also, there's been a correction published by the NY Times:
    __________________________________________________ ___
    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
    Correction: October 29, 2010
    An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Claire Menagh died three weeks after the accident. She died three months later.
    __________________________________________________ ___

    Anyway, back on topic: I have nothing to say, really. That is about as f-ed up as it can get. She should have "reasonably appreciated the danger of riding a bicycle into an elderly woman" - WTF????? WTF?????

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman2058
    Hey man, just wondering - did you leave out the words about "unrelated causes" when you copied the article? Cause those words are there, if you click the link to the original.

    Also, there's been a correction published by the NY Times:
    __________________________________________________ ___
    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
    Correction: October 29, 2010
    An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Claire Menagh died three weeks after the accident. She died three months later.
    __________________________________________________ ___
    Yeah, I originally the story on Yahoo, when it first came out. It did not mention unrelated causes, then read the OP copy and paste which also didn't mention unrelated causes.

    This is even more f***'d up with the dieing of unrelated causes.

    Plus what are they gonna sue the kids for? Their toys, the clothes off their backs, they don't own anything. You wanna sue the parents, okay. But the kids?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dagenhay
    Apparently, I also missed the part where it said she died of unrelated causes. Re-read it still can't find it. Just because she died three weeks later does not mean it is unrelated. Just because she had to have hip surgery does not mean it is unrelated.

    Maybe you should read the original, not the copy and pasted version. He seems to have left that little part out

  21. #21
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccspecialized
    Maybe you should read the original, not the copy and pasted version. He seems to have left that little part out
    "This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

    Correction: October 30, 2010


    An article in some editions on Friday about a lawsuit that claims an elderly woman was severely injured by two 4-year-olds racing their bicycles on a Manhattan sidewalk misstated the timing of the woman’s death. The woman, Claire Menagh, died of unrelated causes three months after she was struck, not three weeks."

    I did read the original on the New York Times website, before it was revised. The original original not only said three weeks, it also did not mention unrelated.

    So prior to this point our discussion is apples and oranges.

    Unrelated or not, this judge is a joke.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bxxer rider
    what is America coming to?

    totally ridicules like most court cases in America, get over your selves!
    Did someone just fart?

  24. #24
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    And its even in Comic Sans!
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExCactus
    What about the grandma for being involved in risky behavior by being over the age of 85 and strolling on a sidewalk in NY by herself? Or her children for that matter for not putting her in a retirement home, thus allowing her to live a risky lifestyle? I'm only kidding, but these arguments would have held up in a court like that... What an ******* of a judge.
    nah it isn't right for someone to knock over another person period, but holding a four year old in court isn't funny either....still the parents should pay hospital bills

  26. #26
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    i agreee u cant hold the 4 year old responsible the kid dont even no whats up but the parents should be responsible or watch there kids better
    keep the rubber side down!!

  27. #27
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    i wonder how much the "estate" got for this lawsuit?
    keep the rubber side down!!

  28. #28
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    Hell if judgements from 1928 can be used as precedence, I motion to have black people banned from certain sections of buses. (racial segregation banned in 1956).

    I'm not racist, just making the point that $hit has changed since almost 90 years ago...

    Or in this case, US sue-you mentality is as alive as it was in 1928 when suing a child seemed like a good idea.

  29. #29
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    lmao i like the way u put that cuz its true!
    keep the rubber side down!!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LonesomeCowboyBert
    I think humanity last peaked sometime in the 1950s, its been an exponentiol curve downwards since.
    Do you mean the 1950's when black people had fire hoses and dogs let loose on them for fighting or their civil rights?
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    Times are changing, you hit someone on your bike, and you are over the age of 4, you can be sued and held for negligence. This just showed up on Yahoo News.

    Keep in mind, this happened on a sidewalk, something in use by pedestrians. As are multi use trails in use by pedestrians. There is also a blurb there about "holding a person accountable for encouraging risky behavior."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/ny...o_interstitial


    4-Year-Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules in Bike Case
    By ALAN FEUER
    Published: October 28, 2010
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    Citing cases dating back as far as 1928, a judge has ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence.
    Readers' Comments
    Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
    Read All Comments (353) »
    The ruling by the judge, Justice Paul Wooten of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, did not find that the girl was liable, but merely permitted a lawsuit brought against her, another boy and their parents to move forward.

    The suit that Justice Wooten allowed to proceed claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both 4, were racing their bicycles, under the supervision of their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, on the sidewalk of a building on East 52nd Street. At some point in the race, they struck an 87-year-old woman named Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and, according to the complaint, was “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three weeks later.

    Her estate sued the children and their mothers, claiming they had acted negligently during the accident. In a response, Juliet’s lawyer, James P. Tyrie, argued that the girl was not “engaged in an adult activity” at the time of the accident — “She was riding her bicycle with training wheels under the supervision of her mother” — and was too young to be held liable for negligence.

    In legal papers, Mr. Tyrie added, “Courts have held that an infant under the age of 4 is conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence.” (Rachel and Jacob Kohn did not seek to dismiss the case against them.)

    But Justice Wooten declined to stretch that rule to children over 4. On Oct. 1, he rejected a motion to dismiss the case because of Juliet’s age, noting that she was three months shy of turning 5 when Ms. Menagh was struck, and thus old enough to be sued.

    Mr. Tyrie “correctly notes that infants under the age of 4 are conclusively presumed incapable of negligence,” Justice Wooten wrote in his decision, referring to the 1928 case. “Juliet Breitman, however, was over the age of 4 at the time of the subject incident. For infants above the age of 4, there is no bright-line rule.”

    The New York Law Journal reported the decision on Thursday.

    Mr. Tyrie had also argued that Juliet should not be held liable because her mother was present; Justice Wooten disagreed.

    “A parent’s presence alone does not give a reasonable child carte blanche to engage in risky behavior such as running across a street,” the judge wrote. He added that any “reasonably prudent child,” who presumably has been told to look both ways before crossing a street, should know that dashing out without looking is dangerous, with or without a parent there. The crucial factor is whether the parent encourages the risky behavior; if so, the child should not be held accountable.

    In Ms. Menagh’s case, however, there was nothing to indicate that Juliet’s mother “had any active role in the alleged incident, only that the mother was ‘supervising,’ a term that is too vague to hold meaning here,” he wrote. He concluded that there was no evidence of Juliet’s “lack of intelligence or maturity” or anything to “indicate that another child of similar age and capacity under the circumstances could not have reasonably appreciated the danger of riding a bicycle into an elderly woman.”

    Mr. Tyrie, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn did not respond to messages seeking comment.

    A version of this article appeared in print on October 29, 2010, on page

    Such the doom sayer. You're like the male Debbie Downer. WTFC.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    When someone ends up dead three weeks later from the incident, it's no longer a "little mistake." It's being ignorant and acting irresponsibly.
    i knew someone would say that. if it was a younger person it is highly doubtful they would have broken their hip. 87 is old, its morbid but it was probably close to that lady's time anyways. my point was if this happened to say a 50 year old and they just got a bruise and sued it would be rediclous.

  33. #33
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    she didnt even die of the accident she died 3 months later of unrelated causes its jus ridicoulous!
    keep the rubber side down!!

  34. #34
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    1) the judge needs a smack upside the head
    2) people need to get their heads on straight, the dammed kids are 4 !!!!!!!
    3) OMG WTF BBQ?
    4) ?????
    5) profit?

    shits ****ed, if your sueing a 4 y.o you have some serious **** ****ed up in your head. people need to take into consideration at the age of 4-6 very few kids have legitimate thoughs of malicious behaviour towards others.

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    But the judge is only following a precedent. That's what a judge is supposed to do. The judge didn't make the law, only there to interpret it, and in this case, I think he interpreted it correctly regarding the 1928 law. If the judge hadn't interprete it like that, then the lawyers will point it out to him! It's not like the judge can ignor the law. If we don't like the law, then we have to vote to change it.

    As far as suing the child, I would not worry about it. The old lady's lawyers are after the child mom's and their money, not the child. You can bet on this.

    As i recall, East 52nd St is at midtown Manhattan, it got a big sidewalk. Because it's midtown, it ususally has people walking about; Manhattan in general always have people walking about anyway. If i were the parents of the 2 kids, I would not let my kids race down a crowded street like that. There are playgrounds in NYC, take them there. Now they say an adult chimpanzee has the intelligence of a 6yr old kid, yet I don't think they would allow a chimp to roam free on the street. So by this reasoning, shouldn't a 4 yr old kid not be allowed to roam a crowded street so freely? and certainly not race on it? My point here is that the parents should have thought better. Not the kids' fault though.

    On a sidenote: I've also seen too many Manhattanites letting their dogs run without a leash. It annoys the hell out of me. They keep saying "oh don't worry he won't bite". Ughh, who cares, I hate dogs running at me.

    Anyone has lived in NYC? it's a concrete jungle on the streets.

  36. #36
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    Dear Admins........ TOO much spam showing up on the board these past few weeks

    sorry, this specific post was based off a post that was above mine that contained spam thus prompting me to make a follow up post identifying the anomaly. next time i'll make sure to include a portion of the spam post so others are aware that i'm not purposely making random posts myself
    Last edited by shwinn8; 12-29-2012 at 10:19 AM.
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  37. #37
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    A friend in the riding community died from a female driver who was texting. She did not get sued and did not face any jail time. A child riding down the street, with no intent to harm anyone, runs into someone and is sued? That makes absolutely NO sense to me at all.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by shwinn8 View Post
    Dear Admins........ TOO much spam showing up on the board these past few weeks
    You revived a thread from two years ago... to complain about spam??

  39. #39
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    Reputation: shwinn8's Avatar
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    no, a spam post was above mine which has been deleted. my post was to inform the admins of that post as that's what i had written. you need to get your facts right before making assumptions
    '11 Jedi
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  40. #40
    C S
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    Quote Originally Posted by shwinn8 View Post
    no, a spam post was above mine which has been deleted. my post was to inform the admins of that post as that's what i had written. you need to get your facts right before making assumptions
    Well, now that makes sense. Suppose that's what happened with that 10 year old post that got revived recently as well.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    When someone ends up dead three weeks later from the incident, it's no longer a "little mistake." It's being ignorant and acting irresponsibly.
    It was three months later of untreated causes as per ther article linked.

  42. #42
    DownhillBAWS
    Reputation: jakester29959's Avatar
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    Wow. That is wrong.

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