FACTS: Billy Anderson, 13 years-old, was the driver of a snowmobile. Anderson’s negligence resulted in Kelly Robinson losing the use of her thumb. Robinson’s parents sued Anderson for the injury.
ISSUE: Whether a minor who operates a powerful motorized vehicle can be held to an adult standard of care.
RULE: When motor vehicles are operated to the hazard of the public, a minimum degree of care and competence is required.
ANALYSIS: Courts have used a special standard of care to determine a minor’s negligence in an incident. In the present case, the Court determined that Petitioner’s negligent action should not be decided under a flexible standard of care. Minors have normally been held to a standard of care that is expected from minors their age. However, the Court reasoned when minors engage in dangerous activities, such as the operation of powerful vehicles, competence and adult care is required. Therefore, minors should be held to an adult standard of care.
CONCLUSION: Petitioner operated the snowmobile. Thus, he should be held to an adult standard of care. Affirmed. New trial granted.