'Bad Mothering?' news article

justmetooAugust 29, 2011

I caught this story on a link scrolling by on site with state/local news highlights and thought I'd share. The kicker for me was one of the 20 and 23 yr olds lawyer for the case was their father. Being it was an 2009 suit, I will assume the 'kids' were 18 and 21 at the time of filing.

I'll also put a direct link to the paper I caught it in so paper can be credited/copyrights blah blah.

---"An Illinois appeals court has dismissed a 2009 lawsuit that two suburban Chicago siblings filed against their mother, seeking $50,000 and claiming she caused them "emotional distress."

Court papers show 23-year-old Steven Miner and his 20-year-old sister Kathryn Miner claimed their mother didn't send her son care packages at college, wouldn't buy her daughter a homecoming dress and didn't send gifts in birthday cards. The Illinois appeals court dismissed the case, ruling the mother's behavior wasn't "extreme or outrageous."

The siblings' father was one of their attorneys. Their parents divorced in 1995.

Cook County judge Kathy Flanagan previously said the lawsuit amounts to the siblings "suing their mother for bad mothering." The sibling's attorney wrote they view the lawsuit as "accountability," not an "attack on mothering."-----

Here is a link that might be useful: case dismissed

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Just another bs law suit! Our country is really going to hell in a handbasket with all these rediculous lawsuits.

Kinda like the Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse. A lady in Indianapolis is suing for emotional distress. She wasn't hurt at all. There were people severely hurt and some killed yet this one lady thinks she should get money because she witnessed it. Ridiculous... personally I don't think anyone should get any money.... I live just north of Indy and I could see the very dark scary looking clouds rolling in here and I went inside. Anyone with common sense can see the weather was about to get bad... yet no one wants to take responsibility for themselves.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 5:20PM
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Hey momof3. That reminds me. I was in Indiana last week and I brought up the fair at dinner and everyone just got real quiet. LoL I was such the Debbie downer at dinner for bringing it up. It's so sad that people died and I was so insensitive. I was just asking about it. I hope I don't get sued!

JMT thanks for posting. This is nuts! It's like everyone thinks they can 'sue' for anything these days!!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 6:06PM
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I'm sure you're fine myfam.... we talk about it at work a lot. We are all pretty much in agreement that the fair committee, the state police, Sugarland, etc, etc didn't have anything to do with it. It's mother nature.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 7:52PM
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I have yet to find a child that had a perfect childhood. There may be children that were easygoing and/or resilient but nobody sails through without experiences that could be construed as "traumatic". Heck, a girl that sat next to me in senior class was killed. I was emotionally distressed. Don't even get me started on growing up with an alcoholic mother in a community where I was the only Mexican in a sea of blond haired, blue eyed kids that were biased.

The father should be ashamed of himself & I hope the publicity he gets from the case is a backlash of disapproval from society. It doesn't matter how bad of a mother she was, creating this kind of publicity only encourages others to follow suit & is why our courts are clogged with nonsense. When I opened the link to read it, I expected to hear of neglect, abuse, mom's many boyfriends that were mean, but not sending care packages to college kid? Not buying a homecoming dress? What kind of spoiled ungrateful kids did they raise? Really??? We had to get a job & buy our own dresses for dances... heck, for school clothes since I was 14. And HELLO??? the kid was in college... something not all kids get to do & a care package is necessary? Really???

Why would a dad do that to his kids' relationship with their mom? As much as I think BM should be outed for the lowlife deadbeat horrible mother I think she is... it would not benefit SD's relationship with her. Heck, my kids' fathers had nothing to do with them for 20 years & if they called today, I would be supportive of them trying to have a relationship because not having a relationship with your parent can affect having a relationship with a significant other. How terribly sad!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 7:54PM
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I am familiar with this suit...Seems like the atty dad is acting liked the scorned woman in this case..The KIDS live in a 1.5 million dollar home with the dad...Mom has remarried. Dad is doing everything he can to crucify the mom..She has paid 2 years of legal fees to defend herself against this PAS ing Dad...She has sent cards he deems inappropriate, like one with a tomato with "google eyes" saying Son, you are one of a kind...WITH NO MONEY!!! Dad probably has more money than mom, but she does seem to have a career, he s arguing she hasnt paid for Pro Active, an OTC skin med..She is supposed to pay half of meds.. Among ten other goofy things...Seems to me like another case of somebody needs to know when to let go and stop destroying your kids, in this case , its the dad , not the mom, IMHO I feel painfully sorry for this mom, he got custody of the kids because he is an atty and has more money....Geez, the son asked for his POPSICLE jewelry box back, that he made for his mom, dad said mom reported it to the police stolen because she had a diamond necklace in it...Bet thats not true either, I d rather have my popsicle box than a diamond necklace any day, any mom would..

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:23PM
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"The siblings' father was one of their attorneys. Their parents divorced in 1995. "

That says it all...don't get mad at the kids on this, obviously the dad has an axe to grind.

Thankfully the legal system did the right thing (which seems to rarely happen) and dismissed the case.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 9:12AM
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I'm going to ask DH if he wants to sue on behalf of SS. Maybe we can find a bottom feeding attorney to take the case, and we'll sue the "children" and father from the news story. What happens if SS stumbles across this news story and realizes that it is customary for a mother to buy her children clothing, if not a homecoming dress, and to send at least a card for their birthdays. What emotional distress this will cause him! That, in turn, will lead to emotional distress for DH and I. When I post about it here then all of you will be distressed... I think a few million might help us all to cope better.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 9:47AM
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I've joked for years with my father that I was going to sue him for "pain and emotional distress" for raising me a Mets/Jets fan instead of a Yankees/Giants fan.

In my "aware" life (I'm 47, can't count 1969, I was 5 yrs old and don't remember a thing) I've been blessed with one measly championship (Mets 1986 and they barely won that one). If I was a Yankees/Giants fan I would have lost count already.

Gee thanks dad... :(

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 11:36AM
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Wow. I should sue my mom.

She punched me in the nose once while I was sleeping---I woke up to pain and blood pouring out of my nose and her sitting on the side of my bed staring at me. She was drunk at the time. Obviously.

She drove drunk with me and my brother ALL the time. For over a decade.

Called me a slut more times than I can count. Told me I was sick and crazy and that my father didn't love me.

Meanwhile, she spent my ENTIRE childhood in and out of fancy rehab centers, overdosed on valium/vodka more times than I can count, was hospitalized in psych. wards multiple times, had a terrible car accident, ran from the police, smacked me and my brother in the face repeatedly over and over. I don't mean on different occasions---I mean smacked us in the face multiple times during ONE incident. MULTIPLE times. All when drunk.

Blah. I could go on and on.

And what is crazy is there are so many children who have it SO MUCH WORSE than that. So much worse!!!! I had a house, clothes, food, good schools, medical care and attention, therapy, etc.

It's all a matter of perspective which, clearly, these kids do NOT have.

What a ridiculous suit. Seriously makes me angry to hear.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 11:59AM
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Just curious, I've worked with plenty of corporate lawyers, but never the ambulance-chaser types. When a lawsuit is thrown out of court for not having merit, are the "suing" lawyers/plaintiffs ever responsible for court costs?

Seems like a logical way to reduce a lot of these types of lawsuits...but if I had to take a guess, I'd say the association of trial lawyers has lobbied heavily against it...

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 12:40PM
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Yes, they are responsible for court costs... But when you're a wealthy lawyer, and your real aim is to harass Mom, that's small potatoes.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 1:48PM
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I think its up to the judges discretion who pays baseless/meritless suits and costs..Dh s ex has brought countless baseless contempts, sometimes judge has ruled DH pays her atty fee, sometimes a different judge had made her pay her own..I feel like sometimes you re the bug, sometimes you re the windshield...She has always claimed he has CAUSED her to file , and is therefore entitled to be paid and sometimes it works...Have another pending in a few weeks, will report back WHO pays this time...:(

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 4:46PM
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Generally, when a case is dismissed.. each side bears their own costs. If the court rules in favor of one side or the other, then attorney's fees & cost of suit are awarded to the winning party.

Seems to me that this lawyer knows this, knew he had no merit to go all the way to trial & just wanted to drag mom through the mud... run up the expense & alienate the kids more. He knew i wouldn't stand up in court. And the publicity... humiliate the mom was probably his goal. I hope his face is put in the media so people walking down the street recognize him and admonish him openly. I hope nobody ever hires him again. Sadly, I know that will probably never happen.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 6:15PM
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Here is the appeal, I think it is, of the lawsuit, which contains a bit more information. http://www.state.il.us/court/R23_Orders/AppellateCourt/2011/1stDistrict/August/1103023_R23.pdf

Apparently the father got sole custody of the son when he was seven, after he (the son) had an unexplained broken arm. The daughter lived with the father as well but had visitation with the mother. Soon after that it appears that mother just quit having contact with her son entirely until he was an older teenager - no birthday or Christmas presents, no visitations, nothing; but still saw her daughter.

The daughter had to pack her weekend "visitation bag" with her clothes and allergy medicine and take it to school with her; apparently pick-ups were at school and mother refused to allow daughter to retrieve it from the home (and also apparently had no clothes or medicine for daughter at her house).

She called the police to report that her seven year old son had stolen a "diamond necklace" that was in a popsicle stick box that her son had made for her and subsequently taken back. She almost never took either kid to a doctor or dentist. She referred to their father as a "Disneyland Dad", despite the fact that he was custodial parent.

The suit was dismissed because "emotional distress" has to be extreme, outrageous and outside any bound of common decency - and the mother's behavior doesn't reach that level.

There's always more than one side to any story, of course - but that is theirs. Is the behavior the "children" describe ringing any familiar bells for any of you? Over here, I'm hearing Ding! Ding! Ding!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 10:49AM
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Wow!!!! I think she's related to a few here.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 1:18PM
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I read the entire case & shook my head the entire time. Of course the mother's side was not represented, but the flavor I got from it is the kids felt so entitled... I mean, I couldn't believe it was brought up that mom told the kid she would take him to the police station because he refused to put on his seat belt. That speaks volumes about how much control she had over her own kids (which is none) & what a brat he might have been to refuse to wear his seat belt. The conflicting "stories" about the broken arm made me laugh. Um, there's not a lot of difference between "daycare" and "babysitter" and he may have been playing with "friends" at daycare. Does not sound TOO conflicting... such as saying he was at school to one person & at a friend's house to another... or fell down on the playground to one person & he fell down the stairs to another. THOSE are conflicting accounts. JEEZ!!!

I envisioned a mom that took daughter shopping & took son to car shows... maybe she felt they were gender appropriate activities, not in an effort to slight the other. My gut tells me dad fueled the sibling rivalry & encouraged the kids to feel slighted by whatever mom did. BTW, I find it interesting that they allege mom had no contact with the son but that "at times" she favored Steven over Kathryn.... and paid for his college...and bought him an ATV. REALLY? WOW!!!

I was taken aback by the statement that mom did not trust kids to report their medical bills... well, it was DAD'S job to send mom the receipts & request payment from her. It should have nothing to do with the kids. I mean REALLY? How dare mom ask for a receipt before she pays whatever they demand!?

and that poor child... humiliated because mom changed her surname after getting remarried.... LMAO ~ SD's BM uses her maiden name, her older sister has HER father's last name, SD has my husband's last name & the new baby has the BF's last name.... how much is that damaging to SD??? or all her kids??? lol

Of course, I don't know the whole story but I assume the mother tried. She sent gifts, she sent cards (laughed at their expectation that she should have included "gifts" in the cards), and we don't know what her financial situation was so based on the lame arguments the children made in their complaint, I have to give the mom the benefit of the doubt that she did the best she could. I get a gut feeling that the father was ferocious to deal with (and don't blame her one bit for refusing to go to his house to pick up the weekend bag).

If the children came up with this ridiculous lawsuit on their own (doubtful), the father (if he were innocent)would have stayed out of it. He could have been silently supportive if they truly felt they had a case but for him to actively get involved with the lawsuit, it says more to me about what the mother has had to contend with over the years. How terrible.

You know, recently there was an incident (Amber Alert) here in CA near where I live. The father and mother split while she was pregnant. She was an attorney (for the State Attorney General) and I'm not sure what he did, I think it was in computers. He felt she had an upper hand in court because she was an attorney, she had just been awarded sole custody & he took the child. They were missing for four days when the bodies of the father and his 2 year old daughter were found in his truck not far from here. His brother (a local attorney as well) went on TV the next day and stated that he was proud of his father and the daughter was better off dead than with the mother. There are just some things beyond reason. In my opinion, it was one more slap in the mother's face from the father's family. How can people HATE so much?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 3:56PM
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Ima, I agree that the children seem to have a sense of entitlement, and the father sounds like he did his best to make matters worse rather than better. BUT. Some of these allegations, if true, make me question a few things. Who calls the police on their seven year old child? I'm not talking about the seat belt episode but the popsicle stick box thing? Who has neither clothing nor allergy medicine for their own child, and requires them to carry a "weekend bag" back and forth to school for visitation? She didn't send gifts to her son or see him for something like ten years!!

My opinion is that with these two as "parents" the kids (now adults) didn't stand much of a chance. :-(

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 4:28PM
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Yeah, I kinda had the same opinions as you on some of what I read in the case, Ima. Imagine that, a mother having the nerve to not carry her exhusband's name...oh the anguish of Mom being called New Mrs Such and Such. Wonder what kind of emotional trauma must be running through the 'children' now that their 'case' has been splashed across about every newspaper, radio station, blog and forum. Really, just goggle, it's everywhere.

Being the divorce rate in this country is extremely high and that thousands and thousands of children are dealing with the aftermath of divorce, new blended families, blah blah blah , I'm curious as to why these adult children in this case believe they are ever so much more special and different than all the other children who did not get the fairytale childhood of having two married perfectly happy parents who bestow their children's each and every last wish/demand on them. Who never upset them, never discipline them, never disappoint them ...well, you all get the idea.

From what I understood of the arm, the mother was never actually suspected in breaking the kids arm aka being physically abusive of kid, just of telling different scenerios of where it occurred. I think if there'd been any real reason to suspect actual abuse by the mother this father would have the mother spending time in prison and not rested until it actually happened.

I found it rather amazing that a seven yr old was selecting his/her counselor...kinda wondered what qualifications selections by a child were going to be based on?

I would not think a court order would mean that I must pay every last little 'medical' bill not covered by insurance without seeing a bill and given a reason as to why such cost was expended. Perhaps the mother actually believed a dr and a prescription med would be more beneficial than an over the counter experimental trial by error treatment inwhich she was not consulted pre purchase. Who knows the what and whys. I think we could sit here and second guess and assume and all come up with all kinds of different what and whys. Judge ruled against the kids so I guess her (the judge's) word is what counts. I also doubt insurance companies pay twice for same product each month so mom and dad can each have the same meds/treatments in each individual home. I know mine would tell me 'no way'.

No, I'm sure not going to toss stones at this particular mother based on what I've seen so far in print to base my opinion on. I'm not surprised that these now grown adult children are in therapy (?) even now at this stage. Must be quite stressful and soul searching to read the prepared 'case' against one's mother, presented by one's father, to prepare to testify and drum up all the old thoughts and memories that have never been put to rest and allowed to deal with other than in a court. There was in one of the articles over the many on this case that the father spent much time researching for this case. Yeah, I see that.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 5:07PM
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The jewelry reported stolen. It was presented in the lawsuit like she accused her son of "stealing" it. We don't know her side or what was actually reported to police. She may have had to make a police report for her insurance company. It seems to me that everything has been spun to put mom in bad light. Perhaps the son took the box (btw, it was not his to take back... it was a gift & belonged to the mom. It speaks volumes that at such a young age, this boy felt he could do what he wants... I suspect the dad encouraged it)

My point is that some of the accusations don't make sense. If she had no contact with her son (which is just their allegation) then how could they say she favored the son over the daughter at times? What times? Someone would have to make a timeline to see whether she really had no contact with him all the years he claims.

What I felt the most compelling statement was the son's claim that he never got an apology for his mother's actions. In fact, the mother would not acknowledge the things they claim ever even happened. Given the father's involvement & how they have tried to spin everything this mom has ever done for her kids (which is a lot more than a lot of mother's I know in real life)... but never enough for these two kids), I tend to believe that the mother is right... it either didn't happen or it didn't happen the way they say it did. It's also telling that the one "retaliatory" thing the mother did, taking the dad to court for contempt, claiming the dad is allowing the son to brainwash the daughter. I tend to believe the dad may have brainwashed son & they both brainwashed the daughter.

I found it funny (& sad) that the daughter is going to blame her weight gain on mom's surname. I do believe the weight gain could have had something to do with the stress she was under being in the middle of these parents.

I'm not saying the mother didn't do anything wrong, but what is in a weekend bag? She can't say she didn't keep clothes at her mom's house in the breath after the son is complaining the mom bought her clothes, toys, etc. but didn't buy him any. It doesn't jive. Sorry, I don't buy it. Just like mom never saw son but daughter complains mom took son places she couldn't go.

I would agree, it looks like it was a very messed up situation. But, there have been worse situations & kids don't sue their parents for bad mothering. If the courts allowed that, the courts would become inundated with REAL cases...

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 6:13PM
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So I can sue SD for emotional distress? :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 1:49AM
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