An interesting trauma ethics question today.
A Connecticut driver was charged with manslaughter last year after striking a 14 year old bicyclist and killing him. The driver, who is serving a 10 year sentence for manslaughter, is now suing the family for putting him there.
According to the prosecutor, the driver was passing another vehicle at 83 mph in a 45 mph zone. The teen was with friends who were jumping bikes at the curb of a busy street. He entered the street and was struck, sustaining multiple severe injuries and was brain dead the next day.
The driver is suing the parents for “contributory negligence” because had they “complied with the responsibilities of a parent and guardian and the laws of this state and not allowed their son to ride his bicycle without a helmet and to play out in the middle of Rt. 69 … this incident and Matthew’s death would not have happened.” He’s also asking for more than $15,000 in damages, saying he’s endured “great mental and emotional pain and suffering,” wrongful conviction and imprisonment, and the loss of his “capacity to carry on in life’s activities.”
On one hand, what is the responsibility of the teen and his family, or anyone for that matter, for taking reasonable precautions to be safe? On the other, no pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist can survive an impact with a car traveling at 83 mph.
One attorney commented on the case, saying "I can see their side of it. I’m a parent. But I can also see the other side of it. If you’re driving down the street and your car makes contact with a pedestrian and you think it’s the pedestrian’s fault, you have to raise the issue.“
Interesting scenario? Read the full story and tell me who you think is right, and why?