The common law doctrine of parental immunity generally prevents unemancipated minors and their parents from suing one another for personal injuries caused by negligence. See Ascuitto v. Farricielli, 244 Conn. 692, (1998). A child generally cannot sue their parents, and parents cannot sue a child. For this purpose, the age of majority is 18. CGS 1-1d.
Emancipation is the legal process by which a child is freed from control of parents/guardians, and parents/guardians are freed from responsibility for a child.
The Supreme Court has eliminated parental immunity in two circumstances: (1) where the alleged negligence involves the parent’s business operations away from the home (Dzenutis v. Dzenutis, 200 Conn. 299 (1986)), and (2) where a child sues for sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual exploitation (Henderson v. Wooley, 230 Conn. 472, 486 (1994)).
Legislative changes have eliminated the doctrine in cases involving negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle (1967 P.A. 596, codified at CGS § 52-572c), and with regard to aircraft and vessels (P.A. 79-5).
If you have any questions, regarding your rights, concerning a case involving a situation between a parent and child, please feel free to contact
Attorney Robert M. Singer
2572 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518