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Barker v. Kallash

New York Court of Appeals
468 N.E.2d 39 (1984)


Facts

Almost 15-year-old George Barker (plaintiff) and Ayman and Anas Kallash, 14 and 15, built a pipe bomb in Barker’s back yard by filling a short, capped section of pipe with gunpowder. The bomb exploded as Barker screwed on the second cap, injuring his hands. Barker obtained the bomb parts from the home workshop where his father used gunpowder to reload shotgun shells, as well as a drill used to make a hole for the fuse. However, Barker claimed that the gunpowder came from fireworks that he told the Kallashes to purchase from another boy, Daniel Melucci, Jr., who was almost nine. Melucci had allegedly purchased some fireworks from yet another minor, Robert Judge. Based on their roles in supplying the gunpowder, Barker’s father sued the Kallashes, Melucci, and Judge, as well as their parents (defendants) based on negligent supervision. The trial court granted summary judgment dismissing Melucci and his parents, and the appellate court affirmed. Barker appealed to New York’s highest state court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wachtler, J.)

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