During the curfew riots in the Netherlands a boy of thirteen participated in the looting of a Jumbo supermarket in Eindhoven. The boy threw stones through windows at the station and participated in the looting. The damages amounted to € 18,000 and must be compensated by his parents.

The parents have to pay this damage on the basis of article 6:164 Dutch Civil Code. This provision states that damage cannot be attributed to a child younger than fourteen years. For this age there is a strict liability for the parents. This means that the parents are liable for the damage caused by the child, even if the parent had no actual influence on the child's behaviour. The parents are liable and the child goes free, because his action is not culpable because of the provision.

In this case, it does not matter if the parents could have done something about the fact that the thirteen-year-old boy was outside. Either way, they are liable for the damages he caused.

Do you have questions about strict liability for children, or liability law in general? Please feel free to contact John Wolfs.

April 22, 2021

Source: NOS