Two adult siblings who sued their mother for bad mothering - with charges that include refusing to buy toys for one and telling another to buckle up in the car - had their case dismissed by an Illinois appellate court.
In 2009, Steven Miner II, now 23, and his sister, Kathryn, 20, sought more than $50,000 from their mother, Kimberly Garrity, for emotional distress that they claim was the result of bad mothering.
While growing up in a $1.5 million home in suburban community Barrington Hills, the pair alleged they endured hardships from their mother that included haggling over the amount to spend on a party dress, failing to take Kathryn to a car show, and giving Stephen an inappropriate birthday card that did not include cash or a check.
The card in question, according to court documents, includes a picture of tomatoes spread across a table that are indistinguishable except for one in the middle that sports a pair of googly eyes.
Son I got you this Birthday card because it's just like you ... different from all the rest! the card allegedly reads, according to The Chicago Tribune. On the inside Garrity wrote, Have a great day! Love & Hugs, Mom xoxoxo.
One of the three lawyers representing the siblings is their father, Steven A. Miner, who was married to Garrity for a decade before they divorced in 1995. Although court records state that Miner tried to talk his children out of filing the lawsuit, Garrity's lawyer, Shelley Smith, wrote that Miner is trying to seek the ultimate revenge by having his children portray his ex-wife as an inadequate mother.
Although Miner refused to comment on the case when contacted by The Chicago Tribune, in court documents he reportedly stated the case is no different from a patient suing a doctor for poor medical treatment.
The children, do not view their [lawsuit] as an attack on mothering, but rather on accountability, he wrote. Everyone makes mistakes, but ... there must be accountability for actions. Parenting is no different.
The court apparently did not agree. It ruled that none of Garrity's conduct was extreme or outrage and said siding with the Miner siblings, could potentially open the floodgates to subject family child rearing to....excessive judicial scrutiny and interference.
Garrity has not spoken to the media about the decision. In court filings, her attorney writes that she still loves her children, but found they wanted, the benefits afforded by a family relationship, but none of the restraints.