A Study in Tort Law: Curious George and The Pizza Party

Curious George and The Pizza Party raises several interesting
questions in tort law. Summary of facts: the eponymous main character,
legal ward of The Man In The Yellow Hat, attends a pizza party;
disregarding the host’s instructions, he enters the kitchen
prematurely, intentionally damages pizza dough, and, as a result,
causes further unintentional damage.

Responsibility for the damages could lie with any of three parties:

  • The Man In The Yellow Hat should have known that his ward was
    insufficiently mature to attend a pizza party alone, and should have
    either accompanied Curious George, or not allowed him to attend.
  • The party’s host should have supervised Mr George more carefully,
    knowing that Mr George was not an adult. Specifically, the host should
    have noticed Mr George’s absence, and acted to remove him from the
    kitchen
  • Although a minor, Curious George was clearly aware that he was
    violating the host’s instructions. Per the theory of “proximate cause”
    (a circa causata), and in absence of a “vicarious liability” (yu do mi
    ouchy) statutes, Mr George would then be liable for damages. However,
    Mr George’s lack of possessions would render civil action against him
    useless.

The case was finally resolved through negotiation: after nearly
expelling Curious George from the party, the host permitted Mr George
to repair the damage he had caused.

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