John M. Kirby


This Article addresses the issues that are peculiar to claims of minors in North Carolina. Persons who are the age of majority prosecute and settle claims that raise numerous substantive and procedural issues. These issues can be compounded, however, when the claimant is a minor. The distinct issues that arise with a minor’s claim include: that a minor is often held to a different standard of conduct; that other persons are held to a higher or different standard of conduct toward a minor; that other persons may have a duty to protect the minor; that courts generally protect the interests of minors; that minors cannot enter binding contracts; and that injuries to minors typically create claims in other parties, for example, the minor’s parents. This Article addresses the settlement and litigation of these claims. While this Article focuses on claims arising from a personal injury to the minor, many of the same legal issues are also raised in other contexts in which the minor’s interests are affected. As shown by many cases cited in this Article, much of the case law in North Carolina addressing the procedures for settling and adjudicating minors’ rights has arisen in the context of a minor’s interest in an estate or real property.


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