Despite the fact that some minors exercise sound judgment and discretion, most people under the age of 18 years are legally under the control of their parents or guardians. Since children generally are not considered capable of entering into contracts, they must use the assistance of their parents to hire attorneys and to pursue litigation when they suffer harm at the hands of others. A Chicago-area child and his father are engaged in just this scenario as they seek compensation for injuries the child apparently suffered during a bad surgical procedure.
The boy was admitted to Norwegian American Hospital for the purposes of having an appendectomy. However, in the lawsuit the father alleges on behalf of his minor son that the doctor engaged in negligent surgical practices while operating. Specifically, the lawsuit claims that the surgeon improperly used staples on the boy, which caused the child to suffer bowel obstructions, vomiting and other adverse consequences.
Since the initial appendectomy, the child has had to endure more surgery and has incurred additional medical expenses. The lawsuit alleges that the doctor's surgical error caused the child to suffer disfigurement as well as other compensable losses based on personal injury theories of law.
On their own, children generally do not have the capacity to pursue their legal rights when they are harmed. They may, however, undertake litigation when they are supported by adults that have legal rights to the children's care. Through their parents and guardians, children can have contracts made with legal representatives and documents filed with the relevant courts to ensure that the children's legal matters are given their due legal review.