Paying the Price for Our Children’s Torts: Exploring Parental Liability Statutes Employed in the South


The accompanying manuscript explores the historical foundations for the common law imposition of liability upon parents for their child’s torts. The manuscript explores the adoption of the common law rules by Southern states with the exception of Louisiana and illustrates the different approaches employed in the common law versus the civil code. The manuscript then explores the growth of parental liability statutes and the alarming trend towards raising the amount of compensation even to unlimited liability coupled with almost strict liability in some Southern states.

Parental liability statutes continue to grow in importance and controversy. The present manuscript is especially timely as children are committing serious crimes with serious costs. This manuscript explores the real world consequences of these statutes upon the family and suggests changes which should make statutes fair and responsive to the needs of society and the family.


Juvenile Law

Date of this Version

November 2004