65 N.D. L. Rev. 219 (1989)
Parent & (and) Child - Loss of Consortium - Negligent Entrustment - Tort Law: North Dakota Allows Recovery for Loss of Filial Consortium and Extends Doctrine of Negligent Entrustment to Include Gun Retailer

handle is hein.journals/nordak65 and id is 229 raw text is: PARENT & CHILD - LOSS OF CONSORTIUM -
NEGLIGENT ENTRUSTMENT - TORT LAW: NORTH
DAKOTA ALLOWS RECOVERY FOR LOSS OF FILIAL
CONSORTIUM AND EXTENDS DOCTRINE OF NEGLIGENT
ENTRUSTMENT TO INCLUDE GUN RETAILER
On January 4, 1983 Steven Holen, then age fourteen, was seri-
ously injured when fifteen-year-old William Boyer discharged a
twenty-two caliber pistol causing a bullet to strike Steven in the
head.' Steven's conservator, First Trust Company of North
Dakota, and Steven's mother, Karlene Holen, brought an action
against William, his mother Kathryn Boyer, and the gun retailer,
Scheels Hardware & Sports Shop, Inc. (Scheels Hardware), for
damages resulting from the injuries suffered by Steven.2 On the
day the pistol was purchased, William's mother accompanied him
to Scheels Hardware.' A Scheels Hardware salesperson handed
William a pistol which William showed to his mother.4 William
indicated to the salesperson that he and his mother would
purchase the pistol.5 The salesperson assisted Kathryn in complet-
ing a federal firearms form and William carried the pistol to the
checkout stand.' William paid cash for the pistol and carried it out
1. First Trust Co. v. Scheels Hardware & Sports Shop, 429 N.W.2d 5, 7 (N.D. 1988).
The shooting was an accident. Id. William Boyer, Steven Holen, and two other boys were
visiting in William's bedroom just before the shooting. Id. It could be inferred from
conflicting testimony that Steven had secretly loaded the pistol. Id. When William pulled
the trigger, the pistol dry fired twice. Id. On the third squeeze, the gun discharged striking
Steven in the head. Id.
2. Id. at 8. The complaint alleged Scheels Hardware negligently, carelessly, and
unlawfully sold, delivered, or otherwise transferred a pistol to William. Id. Plaintiffs also
claimed that William was negligent when he shot Steven. Id. North Dakota law allows
damages for negligent actions which cause injury to others. See N.D. CENT. CODE § 9-10-06
(1987Xa person who lacks ordinary care is responsible for injury to another person).
3. First Trust Co., 429 N.W.2d at 7. The evidence showed that William had saved
money for several months in anticipation of buying the pistol. Id. North Dakota law
prohibits a person from selling or transferring a handgun to someone who is younger than
eighteen years old. N.D. CENT. CODE § 62.1-02-02 (1985); see N.D. CENT. CODE § 62.1-03-
02 (1985Xit is a class A misdemeanor to sell, barter, hire, lend, or give handgun to a minor).
North Dakota law regarding the transfer of handguns conforms to federal law in the same
area. Compare 18 U.S.C. § 922(bXlX1983Xit is unlawful for licensed firearms dealers to sell
any firearm or ammunition to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable
cause to believe is less than eighteen years of age) with N.D. CENT. CODE § 62.1-02-02
(1985Xit is unlawful to transfer a handgun to a person the transferor knows or has reason to
believe is under 18 years of age).
4. First Trust Co., 429 N.W.2d at 7. William Boyer's father, James Boyer, had talked
with Kathryn Boyer about purchasing a pistol for William and James Boyer had approved
the purchase that took place at Scheels Hardware. Brief for Appellee Scheels Hardware &
Sports Shop at 49, First Trust Co. v. Scheels Hardware & Sports Shop, 429 N.W.2d 5 (N.D.
1988XNo. 870134).
5. First Trust Co., 429 N.W.2d at 7. William had previously discussed handguns with a
Scheels Hardware salesperson on three occasions. Id.
6. Id. Federal law requires a firearm to be registered with the federal government
when it is transferred. See 26 U.S.C. § 5841(bX1983Xunder National Firearms Registration

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