2012 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 52 - Civil Actions
Chapter 925 - Statutory Rights of Action and Defenses
Section 52-572 - Parental liability for torts of minors.


CT Gen Stat § 52-572 (2012) What's This?

(a) The parent or parents or guardian, other than a temporary guardian appointed pursuant to section 45a-622, of any unemancipated minor or minors, which minor or minors wilfully or maliciously cause damage to any property or injury to any person, or, having taken a motor vehicle without the permission of the owner thereof, cause damage to the motor vehicle, shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor or minors for the damage or injury to an amount not exceeding five thousand dollars, if the minor or minors would have been liable for the damage or injury if they had been adults.

(b) This section shall not be construed to relieve the minor or minors from personal liability for the damage or injury.

(c) The liability provided for in this section shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any other liability which may exist at law.

(d) As used in this section, “damage” shall include depriving the owner of his property or motor vehicle or of the use, possession or enjoyment thereof.

(1955, S. 3231d; 1959, P.A. 244; 549; 1969, P.A. 326; 1971, P.A. 314; 1972, P.A. 127, S. 75; P.A. 79-58; P.A. 82-160, S. 236; P.A. 93-26; P.A. 96-202, S. 8.)

History: 1959 acts added provision re taking of motor vehicle without permission and tripled maximum liability; 1969 act raised maximum liability from $750 to $1,500; 1971 act defined “damage” for purposes of section; 1972 act made no change in this section but did generally change age of majority from 21 to 18; P.A. 79-58 raised maximum liability to $3,000; P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section and inserted Subsec. indicators; P.A. 93-26 raised maximum liability from $3,000 to $5,000; P.A. 96-202 amended Subsec. (a) to specify inapplicability to temporary guardians appointed pursuant to Sec. 45a-622.

Parent is liable only where child himself might be required to respond in damages for his own tort. 20 CS 376. Parents sued for damage “wilfully or maliciously” caused by their child are in the same position with respect to the controlling statute of limitations as the child. Cause of action is controlled by three-year limitation under section 52-577. 24 CS 320. Although child was in technical custody of welfare commissioner, he was sent home to his parents at which time he caused damage to plaintiff’s automobile. Held father as well as minor was liable. Id., 357. Cited. 33 CS 44. Statute, which imposes on parents of minor liability not to exceed $1500 for property damage wilfully or maliciously caused by minor is held constitutional on basis that regulation has rational relationship to preservation and promotion of public welfare. 34 CS 7. Cited. 38 CS 327. Control of a minor is a determining factor in imposing liability under the statute. 40 CS 185. Cited. 41 CS 367.

Fact that minor was technically in custody of state did not relieve father of liability under this statute where son was under control of father. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 378. Cause of action brought under this section governed by three-year limitation set forth in section 52-577. Id., 379. Relief of parental liability, when. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 672. Cited. Id., 715.

Subsec. (c):

Cited. 215 C. 316.

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