Host not responsible for child’s ATV injury

At a barbecue hosted by Daniel Hylton, eight-year-old Tabitha Lasley was injured when she was thrown to the ground from an ATV she had been operating. Tabitha’s father, Gene Mosley, was supervising her during the incident.

Tabitha and her mother, Juanita Lasley filed a complaint alleging that Hylton had been grossly negligent by allowing and assisting Tabitha to operate the ATV.

The circuit court judged in Hylton’s favor, concluding that Hylton had no duty to Tabitha that could support a finding of negligence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) if a child’s parent is present and supervising and knows of risks associated with an activity, a host does not breach the duty of reasonable care when he allows the child to participate in an activity with the parent’s permission; and (2) Hylton satisfied his duty of reasonable care to Tabitha when he ensured that Tabitha was being supervised by Moseley and had his permission to ride the ATV.