Neel v. Sewell
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
834 F. Supp. 2d 648 (2011)
Seventeen-year-old Brandon Neel (plaintiff) helped his father, David Evans (defendant) and aunt clean out the home of his step-grandmother, Beverly Sewell (defendant). The group started a backyard fire to burn the trash they gathered while cleaning. One bag of trash contained an aerosol can and when the bag was placed on the fire, it exploded, causing Neel to suffer severe burns. Neel sued his father and grandmother in federal district court, seeking damages for his physical and emotional injuries. In his complaint, Neel alleged that his father negligently supervised him by failing to maintain adequate standards for the safe disposal of flammable materials and failing to instruct Neel about proper safety practices. Evans moved for summary judgment, arguing that under Michigan law, a parent could not be liable to a child for negligent supervision.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rosen, C.J.)
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