The $50,000 tantrum: Brother and sister SUE their mother after she bought the 'wrong' birthday card and refused them toys
- The Illinois lawsuit was filed against Kimberly Garrity
- One of their lawyers was their own father, Steven Miner
- She raised Steven II and Kathryn in a $1.5million home
- Children claimed 'emotional distress' in $50,000 lawsuit
By MARK DUELL
Last updated at 10:54 PM on 28th August 2011
Some children kick up a big tantrum when they’re refused toys or receive the wrong type of birthday card - but it doesn’t usually end up like this.
Kimberly Garrity, who raised Steven II, now 23, and Kathryn, now 20, in a $1.5million home in Illinois, was sued by her own children.
But the siblings, represented by three lawyers including their father, Steven A. Miner, have failed in their $50,000 lawsuit for ‘bad mothering’.
They alleged Garrity failed to take Kathryn to a car show and threatened Steven II with phoning police if he did not buckle his seatbelt.
The children claim she ‘haggled’ over dress prices and called at midnight to tell Kathryn to come home from a party, reported the Chicago Tribune.
But after two years of battle an appeals court has dismissed the ‘emotional distress’ case, ruling Garrity's conduct was not ‘extreme or outrageous’.
A positive ruling ‘could potentially open the floodgates to subject family childrearing (to) excessive judicial scrutiny and interference,’ it said.
Mr Miner and Garrity were married for around ten years before she filed for divorce 16 years ago, reported the Chicago Tribune.
The birthday card in question was labelled ‘inappropriate’ by Steven II as it allegedly failed to include any money.
It had a picture of indistinguishable tomatoes on a table, apart from one in the centre with googly eyes attached.
The card said: ‘Son I got you this Birthday card because it’s just like you ... different from all the rest!’
'It would be laughable that these children of privilege would sue their mother for emotional distress, if the consequences were not so deadly serious'
Kimberly Garrity’s lawyer
Kimberly Garrity’s lawyer
Garrity’s attorney Shelley Smith complained of her ex-husband trying to seek ‘ultimate revenge’ of her children, accusing her of ‘being an inadequate mother’.
‘It would be laughable that these children of privilege would sue their mother for emotional distress, if the consequences were not so deadly serious,’ she wrote in court papers.
Ms Smith wrote Garrity does still love her children but they wanted ‘the benefits afforded by a family relationship, but none of the restraints’.
‘(The children) do not view their (lawsuit) as an attack on mothering, but rather on accountability,’ the children’s father Mr Miner wrote.
‘Everyone makes mistakes, but... there must be accountability for actions. Parenting is no different,’ he added, reported the Chicago Tribune.