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Parental Immunity Extends to Contribution and Indemnity for Child Injured in Store
Description A child who fell out of a shopping basket and suffered serious injuries when left unattended in a shopping basket by his father, could not sue his father under the doctrine of parental immunity, nor could the store demand contribution or indemnification by the father.
Topic Torts
Key Words Parental Immunity; Negligent Supervision
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts While shopping at Home Depot, Crotta put his youngest son in the child seat of a shopping basket and his older son in the basket itself. While Crotta was away from the basket, the older boy fell from the cart, striking his head on the floor and sustaining serious injuries. The boy's parents then sued Home Depot on the boy's behalf for product liability and negligence. Home Depot defended that there should be contributory liability on the part of the father. The federal trial judge certified a question to the high court of Connecticut, asking if the father could be liable.
Decision Under the doctrine of parental immunity, a parent is not liable civilly to his child for personal injury inflicted during the child's minority. Since the child could not sue the father for the injury suffered in this incident, the store may not assert a common-law claim for contribution against the father for purposes of liability; nor could the store sue the father for indemnification.
Citation Crotta v. Home Depot, Inc., 732 A.2d 767 (Sup. Ct., Conn., 1999)

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