In Perez v. Rodriguez, the plaintiffs, acting as personal representatives of the estate of their son, Danny, brought a wrongful death action against the defendant. In their complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that their son was killed as a result of injuries he sustained due to an ATV accident. At the time of the accident, the ATV was being driven by the defendant’s son, Ricky, who did not suffer any injuries. At the time the accident occurred, both boys were 16 years old, and neither of them had put on a helmet.
During discovery, evidence came out regarding the circumstances surrounding the accident. The ATV was capable of traveling up to 65 miles per hour and was not intended for multiple riders. It was a surprise gift for Ricky from his parents. Neither parent operated the ATV, and only the wife had ever ridden on the ATV while Ricky was driving. Before the accident happened, no one other than the wife had ridden with Ricky on the ATV.
The parents testified that Ricky was required to ask permission to ride the ATV and that he was not allowed to use it unless at least one parent was home. As far as they knew, their son had not disobeyed this requirement. The key to the ATV was kept in an unlocked drawer in the area that the father used for his office.