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More Bad Parents Suing, Blaming Others for Their Failures

The divorced parents of a 15-year-old Connecticut girl are suing a Massachusetts summer camp, alleging that nearly $700,000 worth of emotional distress was inflicted when their daughter was expelled after engaging in what the camp’s director deemed provocative sexual behavior with a fellow camper.

According to United Press International, the “lawsuit said the couple’s daughter, identified as Jane, and a boy,  identified by the pseudonym Dick, struck up a summer romance.”

UPI went on to quote directly from the lawsuit:

“This summer romance made plaintiff, Jane, a child of divorced parents who suffers from anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and treats with a psychiatrist and medications, and who always felt insecure and inferior to her peers, feel confident and beautiful for the very first time in her life.”

The suit claims Dick and Jane kissed for the first time at the urging of camp counselors who also offered congratulations to the young couple.

But then the camp director allegedly “yelled and screamed at Dick and plaintiff, Jane, in front of other campers and/or counselors, falsely accused them of sexually provocative behavior including removal of each other’s  clothing, causing plaintiff, Jane, inter alia, severe emotional distress and/or mental anguish and/or depression and/or extreme anxiety and/or humiliation and/or guilt and/or embarrassment,” the complaint goes on to allege and/or exaggerate.

An incredulous American Tort Reform Association director of communications Darren McKinney posted a comment on the UPI website saying:

“So let me see if I’ve got this straight.  Two incompetent parents who admit that their own inability to get along as man and wife led directly to their daughter’s emotional instability and lack of self-esteem now want to sue into oblivion a summer camp that sent their daughter home after she may have provocatively acted out?  Absolutely incredible.  What lessons about appropriate behavior will these two so-called parents fail to teach now, and what additional trauma will they insist be heaped on their psychologically delicate daughter when she’s called to the witness stand at trial?

“Don’t settle this case, Camp Emerson.  Force it to trial and make these shameless plaintiffs look jurors in the eye.”

Incidentally, it will likely surprise no one to learn that the ejected camper’s father is a New York City plaintiffs’ attorney who didn’t seem particularly worried about preserving his daughter’s anonymity when he gave an interview about his camp lawsuit to the New York Post.  And he must be a rather charming fellow, too, because Post reporter Tara Palmeri‘s story offers not the slightest note of skepticism.

In fairness to Ms. Palmeri, it’s likely that camp officials have been advised by counsel to say nothing to the media about the lawsuit or relevant camp policies. But all good reporters know that every word out of a personal injury lawyer’s mouth should be checked and double checked.  Writing a story that essentially serves as a camp-bashing news release for the plaintiffs certainly doesn’t serve Post readers particularly well.

UPDATE: Subsequent to writing the post above, Judicial Hellholes reporters have revisited the Fairfield County (Connecticut) Superior Court website and found what appears to be the plaintiffs’ unilateral withdrawal of the lawsuit. Both an email and voicemail seeking confirmation of this apparent withdrawal have been sent/left for the plaintiffs’ attorney, and an email has been sent to Ms. Palmeri.  If and when  confirmation of a withdrawal is received, it will be promptly reported and wholeheartedly applauded.

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