Playing With Fire

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Q: Last summer, another kid in the neighborhood was selling firecrackers.  We bought a few and took out the powder.  I got a metal pipe from my dad’s workshop, capped it at one end and poured in the stuff.  As I was screwing a cap to the other end, our toy exploded.  Can I sue the dads of any of these other guys, for not keeping better control of them?

A: Sometimes, a victim’s own violation of the law makes it impossible for him to recover in tort.  From what you tell me, you cannot get compensation.

If your pre-accident self-amusement had reached the point only of playing with the firecrackers, then you might have a case, because not every violation of one of the thousands of penal provisions will prevent a victim from suing in negligence.

However, when a victim is willingly engaged in illegal conduct of a serious nature, and his injuries are directly caused by his illegal acts, the victim is barred from seeking legal compensation for his injuries.

Even if you were too young to be convicted of a criminal offense, you nevertheless did not enjoy complete immunity from responsibility for illegal acts.  Be sure to go to an attorney, but do not be surprised if he or she notes that you knew enough to make this ‘toy’ and declines to go forward.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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