598 P.2d 392 (Wash. 1979)
PROCEDURAL HISTORY: Defendants appealed a Court of Appeals (Washington) affirmation of a trial court's grant of plaintiff's motion for a new trial based on an improper jury instruction regarding the standard of care.
-Plaintiff was injured in a snowmobile accident and sued defendant, the thirteen-year old driver of the snowmobile.
-Trial court instructed the jury that, in considering the claimed negligence of a child, it was the duty of that child to exercise the same care that a reasonably careful child of same age, intelligence, maturity, training, and experience would exercise under the same or similar circumstances.
-Verdict was returned for defendant and plaintiff motioned for new trial, stating that trial judge erred in failing to instruct the jury on an adult standard of care. Trial court agreed and ordered a new trial.
-Order was affirmed by the intermediate court on appeal. Defendant appealed to the highest court in the state.
HOLDING: Since the defendant had engaged in the inherently dangerous activity of the operation of a snowmobile, he should have been held to an adult standard of care.
|-The care or caution required is according to the capacity of the child, and this is to be determined ordinarily by the age of the child. A child is held only to the exercise of such degree of care and discretion as is reasonably to be expected from children of his age.|
CONCLUSION: Appellate court's affirmation of trial court's grant of plaintiff's motion for a new trial was affirmed. Court stated that defendant had engaged in the inherently dangerous activity of the operation of a snowmobile, so he should have been held to an adult standard of care.
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