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Broadbent v Broadbent Arizona, 1995

Mother left 2-1/2-year-old child by the swimming pool to answer the phone, and the child got
into the pool and suffered severe brain damage.

Procedure: trial court dismissed the case, COA affirmed

Issue: Should parental immunity be done away with?

Held Yes; suing a parent would not disturb domestic tranquility, create a danger of fraud, deplete
family resources, benefit the parent through inheritance, or interfere with parental care,
discipline, and control, as claimed. It wouldn't make sense in this case for the parent to be liable
to a neighbor's child for the same act, but not to her own child. A “reasonable and prudent
person” parent standard should be used.

Goller v White

The Goller court, however, expressed concern that total

abrogation of the doctrine would unduly interfere with
parental authority and discipline.
In Streenz
Goller standard: parental immunity is abrogated except:
1) where the alleged negligent act involves an exercise of parental authority over the child and
2) where the alleged negligent act involves an exercise of ordinary parental discretion with respect to
the provision of food, clothing, housing, medical and dental services, and other care

Zikely v Zikely

infant was injured when D turned on hot water faucet for a baht, left the room, and P got in and
suffered severe burns. Court says that daily household hazards should not create liability for policy
reasons, and distinguishes cases like that from cases that involve an affirmative action (leaving a kid
alone with an 11 yr old and a power motor)


Hewlett v George 1891, child could not sue parent for false imprinsonment in an insane asylum bc
of parental immunity. Rationale: peace of society, and the families composing society, and a sound
public policy, designed to subserve the repose of families and the best interests of society, give parental

McKelvey v McKelvey
child could not sue her father for “cruel and inhuman treatment” inflicted by her stepmother with the
consent of her father

Roller v Roller

a minor child could not sue her father for rape, even though he had been convicted of the criminal
violation, bc of parental immunity
Glaskox v Glaskox: no parental immunity where minor is injured as a result of parent's negligence
in car accidents

exceptions for parental immunity, p 220: if the parent is acting outside the scope of his parental role,
but in the scope of employment, if the parent acts willfully, wantonly or recklessly; if the child is
emanicpated, if the child or parent dies, if a third party is liable for the tort, then the immunity of the
parent does not protect the third party (babysitter), and if the tortfeasor is standing in loco parentis,
such as a grandparent, foster parent or teacher

Sandoval v Sandoval
If the parent's duty was owed to the child alone and a part of the “parental care and control “or other
care to be provided by the parents, then the parents were immune OVERRULED BY BROADBENT in
favor of a reasonable and prudent parent standard

Schleier v Alter

the family dog, which had a history of attacking children, bit the 11-month old. Duty was owed to the
world at large and therefore parents were not immune

Sandbak v Sandbak
child wandered onto property with pit bulls, parents knew she had a history of wandering over. Bc it
was a parental duty, there was no liability

(reasons to keep immunity), p221

Holodook v Spencer
in new york, dont want to tell parents how to raise their kids, broad parental immunity
however, in Holodook, affirmative action was taken to create the hazard, so the decision shouldnt be
misread to apply to all household hazards

if they create the risk and fail to protect it, then they are not immune

Concurrence: draws a line between acts that grow out of a family relationship and do not

La Torre v Genesee Management

P, 20 yr old developmentally disabled man, was left by his mother at an amusement center at a mall
while she shopped. He got into an altercation, and was subdued and arrested. He sued the mall, and the
mall sued the mather. Court rejected the suit, sayign that bc of Holodook (the NY view), the P could not
have sued the mother, so D cannot sue the mother indirectly. Court also gave policy reasons against
legal boomerangs, saying parents should not have to choose bw defending themselves or their kids.

Buono v Scalia:
immunity is available for negligent supervision claims unless the parent was reckless or willful and
that immunity was available in a suit by a third party.
If a parent does something that is not direct parenting but just puts a third-party at risk, no immunity

Renko v MacLean
did not impose liability for an auto accident, bc doing so would open the floodgates to disputes re: