(CN) – A 4-year-old girl can sue her father for injuries she suffered in a car crash after her father failed to place her in a proper car seat, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled.
In a lawsuit filed through her mother, Hannah Leigh Evans sued her father, Billy Bradley Evans II, for negligence after she was severely injured in a car crash.
Billy had placed Hannah in a portable foam seat in his 1972 pickup truck, which was hit head-on by an oncoming car and knocked into a roadside fence.
Hannah suffered a fractured skull, a brain hemorrhage and a ruptured bladder, among other injuries.
The trial court dismissed the case, ruling that the Virginia General Assembly did not intend for the state child-seat law to lead to a civil action.
However, the state high court overturned the decision after considering case law and the statute requiring children under the age of 8 to be secured by a car seat.
“We conclude that the General Assembly intended preclusion of a per se negligence action … but did not abrogate a common law action for negligence,” Justice Donald Lemons wrote.