12 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 935 (1984-1985)
Torts - Liability of Parents for Negligent Supervision of Their Minor Children - Snow v. Nelson

handle is hein.journals/flsulr12 and id is 945 raw text is: Torts-LIABILITY OF PARENTS FOR NEGLIGENT SUPERVISION OF
THEIR MINOR CHILDREN-Snow v. Nelson, 450 So. 2d 269 (Fla. 3d
DCA 1984)
Under current Florida case law, injured parties can state a prima
facie case of negligent supervision against the parents of a tort-
inflicting child only by alleging that the parents had knowledge of
their child's habit of doing the particular type of wrongful act
which resulted in the injury complained of.1 The Third District
Court of Appeal, in Snow v. Nelson,2 criticized the narrowness of
this particular acts rule and proposed that it be abandoned in
favor of the analytical framework set forth in section 316 of the
Restatement (Second) of Torts. This note explores the analysis de-
veloped by the district court in support of its proposal. Then the
note briefly examines the common law theories of parental liability
for the torts of children and the opinion of the Florida Supreme
Court in Gissen v. Goodwill,3 which fixed the particular acts rule as
an element of the cause of action in negligent supervision. The
note explores the heritage of the rule, finds that it is derived from
a cause of action based on the theory of agency, and suggests that
it is therefore inappropriate to an analysis of alleged parental neg-
ligence in controlling the conduct of a child. Finally, this note dis-
cusses the policy considerations behind the rule and concludes by
urging the Florida Supreme Court to follow the recommendation of
the Third District Court of Appeal.
The injury that gave rise to the cause of action in Snow v. Nel-
son occurred as two teenage boys played a street game akin to
polo,4 in which croquet mallets were used to drive tennis balls in
the direction of a predetermined goal.5 Each boy struck his tennis
ball with his mallet, swiftly ran down the street after it, and hit it
again until the goal was reached.' In the course of the game one of
the boys, Mark Nelson, swung at his ball but accidentally7 struck
his competitor Randall Snow in the eye.8 As a result of the blow,
Randall ultimately suffered loss of the eye and permanent loss of
1. Gissen v. Goodwill, 80 So. 2d 701, 705 (Fla. 1955).
2. 450 So. 2d 269 (Fla. 3d DCA 1984).
3. 80 So. 2d 701 (Fla. 1955).
4. Brief of Petitioners on the Merits at 2, Snow v. Nelson, Fla. S. Ct. No. 65,391 (pend-
ing) [hereinafter cited as Brief of Petitioners].
5. Snow, 450 So. 2d at 270.
6. Id.
7. Brief of Petitioners at 4.
8. Snow, 450 So. 2d at 270.

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