Gun Play Case

Date: September 16, 2009
Posted In: DLP Law

Bobby and Cody were best of friends and were 11 years old. While Bobby was visiting Cody\’s house, the boys thought it would be fun to snoop around Cody\’s father\’s tool shed. The boys came across a key which they found unlocked the cabinet where Cody\’s dad kept his guns.

Bobby pulled out a handgun and bragged to Cody that he knew how to load it because his father had one that was very similar. The gun unfortunately discharged when Bobby started to handle it, wounding Bobby in the right foot. Cody\’s dad offered to pay the medical bills, but that did not satisfy Bobby\’s parents who brought suit against Cody\’s dad based on various allegations of negligence.

Issue: Is Cody\’s dad\’s offer to pay the medical bills admissible in the trial to show that he was acknowledging responsibility for the injury?

Answer: No. While an offer to pay, or actual payment of medical expenses, might arguably constitute an admission of liability of those expenses or damages, our courts have held that they would rather avoid penalizing humanitarian gestures, and thus, they exclude offers such as this from coming into evidence.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.