Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If the end result of bullying is that the bully gets seriously hurt or maimed could the victim be sued?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21144 points ) March 18th, 2014

If a bully got the tables turned on him/her and ended up being seriously hurt, maimed, or even crippled, could the intended victim be sued? If the aggressor ended up getting their clock cleaned, whacked with something, shoved down stairs to stop an attack and is permanently injured, because their victim defended themselves would he/she, or their parents, be open to litigation, and better yet, could they lose?

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6 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

It probably depends on local laws. I don’t know much about the law, but I think in some places if you can reasonably walk away that is what you are supposed to do. Other laws talk about equal force, so the question would be is slamming the child into the ground equal to being punched?

I think they definitely could try to sue. If tried in court on a civil level I think the jury would not agree with the suit. Most people are pretty fed up with bullying.

Cruiser's avatar

I was taught in martial art class that use of force is justified when a person reasonably believes that it is necessary for the defense of oneself or another against the immediate use of unlawful force. However, a person must use no more force than appears reasonably necessary in the circumstances. So if you get pushed or punched you can push or punch back but you cannot beat the sh!t out of the person or intentionally inflict bodily harm after you have successfully mitigated the original assault.

zenvelo's avatar

Anyone can get sued for just about anything. It’s really up to a jury, though.

A better indicator of liability is whether or not the person is charged with a crime. Self defense is a mitigating circumstance. But self defense has to be proportional to the offense.

Someone pushes you, you push back in defense and the fall backwards and hit their head? Self defense.

Someone pushes you and you pull out a gun and shoot them? In most states, that’s a crime. (Florida that all depends on if the shooter is white or black; in Florida, white people are free to kill in that circumstance.)

Juries tend to follow the same reasoning when assigning liability.

Judi's avatar

Happens all the time. Clebold and Harris were the victims of bullies before their rampage at Columbine. That doesn’t justify their choices.
It really frustrates me though when the victims of bullies end up getting labeled bullies when they retaliate. You never really deal with the root problem because the real bullies, the teachers pets, the cheerleaders and football players are never held accountable.
We talk about bullying all the time but we never really break it Dow or define it.

Paradox25's avatar

Yes. This is just one of the reasons why I believe society needs to be more adamant about stopping bullying, because it really is a crime in some form, with it being harassment on the lower level, and assault and battery frequently, and sometimes even out murder (I mean manslaughter). Anything that is compulsory should be safe, especially where children are involved. I also find it appalling that hundreds of inner city children lose their lives in public schools every year.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Kid sure was a dumbass!

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