In 2009, two children who grew up in a $1.5 million house felt their mother did such a bad job of raising them that they wanted her to pay — literally.
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Last week, an Illinois appeals court judge disagreed with that assessment, dismissing the two-year-old lawsuit in which Steven Miner II, now 23, and his sister, Kathryn, 20, sought more than $50,000 from their mother, Kimberly Garrity, for “emotional distress’’ from “bad mothering.’’
While growing up in a luxurious home in Barrington Hills, Ill., their alleged hardships at the hands of their mother included Steven receiving a birthday card that didn’t include cash or a check and did not have a sentiment that he liked, accusations that Garrity did not send him care packages or birthday cards while he was in college, Garrity telling her then-7-year-old son to buckle his seat belt or she would call the police, and Kathryn getting a phone call from her mother at midnight to tell her to return home from her homecoming celebration.
When dismissing the case, the court found that ruling in favor of the children “could potentially open the floodgates to subject family childrearing to ... excessive judicial scrutiny and interference."
Other accusations included Kathryn being upset that her mother would not take her to a car show, and Garrity failing to buy toys for one of her children. One of the exhibits filed in the case was a birthday card sent from Garrity to her son that had a group of indistinguishable cartoon tomatoes on the front with one different tomato in the middle that had googly eyes attached. The inside read, “Son I got you this Birthday card because it’s just like you ... different from all the rest!" Garrity wrote “Have a great day! Love & Hugs, Mom xoxoxo.’’
"It would be laughable that these children of privilege would sue their mother for emotional distress, if the consequences were not so deadly serious for (Garrity)," Garrity’s attorney, Shelley Smith, wrote in court documents. "There is no insurance for this claim, so (Garrity) must pay her legal fees, while (the children) have their father for free."
One of the three lawyers representing the children was their father, Steven A. Miner. He was married to Garrity for 10 years before the two divorced in 1995, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. In court papers, Miner wrote that he tried to talk his children out of filing the lawsuit.
Miner was trying to “seek the ultimate revenge’’ by having his children paint his ex-wife as “an inadequate mother,’’ Smith wrote in court documents.
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