9-year-old must pay EUR 25,000 fine
25 March 2004
KOBLENZ – A court in Germany Wednesday ruled that a 9-year-old boy must pay some EUR 25,000 to cover the costs of extinguishing a barn fire that he started by playing with matches.
In handing down the decision, the administrative court in the Rhine Valley city of Koblenz rejected a complaint by the boy’s parents, who said local authorities had no right to hold the boy responsible.
The incident occurred in the summer of 2002 when the boy set alight a bit of straw that fell from his hand and spawned an inferno which took 83 firefighters hours to extinguish.
The court ruled that an intelligent 9-year-old ought to know better.
Subject: German news