An adult son and daughter have sued their mom for "emotional distress" for such infractions as giving the wrong birthday card and demanding seatbelt use. And one of their lawyers turns out to be their dad.
According to the Chicago Tribune, twenty-three-year-old Steven Miner II and his twenty-year-old sister Kathryn sued their mom, Kimberly Garrity, for over $50,000. Her sins: "failing to take her daughter to a car show, telling her then-7-year-old son to buckle his seat belt or she would contact police, 'haggling' over the amount to spend on party dresses and calling her daughter at midnight to ask that she return home from celebrating homecoming." Oh, and then there's birthday-card-gate:
On the front of the American Greetings card is a picture of tomatoes spread across a table that are indistinguishable except for one in the middle with craft-store googly eyes attached.
'Son I got you this Birthday card because it's just like you … different from all the rest!' the card reads. On the inside Garrity wrote, 'Have a great day! Love & Hugs, Mom xoxoxo.'
Apparently Stevens deemed the card "inappropriate" (guess he didn't like the suggestion that he had googly eyes), and also disapproved of the fact that it did not contain money. Unsurprisingly, a judge dismissed the case, saying the mother's actions were not "extreme or outrageous," and that ruling in favor of the kids "could potentially open the floodgates to subject family child rearing to … excessive judicial scrutiny and interference." How did this suit even make it to the courts, you ask? That could have something to do with Steven A. Miner, one of the plaintiffs' three attorneys, and their dad.
Miner had primary custody of the children during their children, and his ex-wife's attorney had this to say about their suit: "Everything ... shows that these children, orchestrated by their father, will stop at nothing to embarrass and financially harm their mother." Obviously Garrity and her lawyers have an axe to grind here, and no one but the family members know what really went on between them — but to represent his children in court as they sued their mother for a variety of minor-sounding missteps seems like a seriously irresponsible act for a father. Miner might do well to listen to the judge in this case and think of his children's long-term well-being before he gets involved in any more litigation.