Comparative and Contributory Negligence

7.11 – Care Required of Children (7 Years and Older) (Under 7 Years)

7.11 Care Required of Children

  1. In General (7 years and Older)
    A child, old enough to be capable of negligence, is required to act with the same amount of care as children of similar age, judgment and experience. In order for you to determine whether a child has acted negligently, you should take into consideration the child’s age, intelligence and experience. Also you must consider the child’s capacity to understand and avoid the danger to which he/she was exposed in the actual circumstances and situation in this case. You, the jury, must decide the factual question of whether this child was comparatively negligent.
  2. Where Child Under 7 Years
    There is a presumption in the law that a child under the age of seven years is not capable of acting negligently. You may reject this presumption only if the party who is claiming the child was negligent proves that this particular child had the experience and the capacity to avoid the danger which was present in this situation. 

    If you decided that this child had the capacity to act negligently then you must review the facts to see if the child failed to use that amount of care to avoid the danger which should have been exercised by children with like experience and intelligence.



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