So us moms, we're a judgmental bunch. Don't deny it. How many times have you said, "what was she thinking?" in reference to another mom. I bet lots of moms are saying it about Lauralee Pfeifer:
A former high school student, paralyzed in a car collision after a 2006 teenage drinking party, will receive a $2.5 million settlement from the mother of the party's hosts, according to The Chicago Tribune. George Baldwin, now 22 and paralyzed from the chest down, sued Lauralee Pfeifer after the Nov. 19, 2006, party at their Lake Forest home in Chicago's North Shore area. Her daughters, then 16 and 17, threw the underage bash.
Baldwin left the party with a friend, who crashed his car into a utility box on an Illinois highway. Both men were hurt, Baldwin more seriously.
Recently, a Lake County judge approved the settlement against Lauralee Pfeifer for the maximum $2.5 millionn covered by her homeowner's insurance, said Patrick Salvi, Baldwin's attorney. "We were not suing her as a social host but in her role as a parent," Salvi said. "It was her duty to supervise her children."
I have to admit this story is disturbing to me on several levels. Of course, as a parent I know it's my duty to supervise my kids, to lay the groundwork and hope they will use common sense.
But can you honestly say, as a working parent, that you supervise every activity your child does? Can you swear with complete confidence that they never, ever would have a party when you were out for night, working late, or maybe away on a business trip? Can you be 100 percent certain that no one would bring alcohol to the party? Should this mom be responsible for someone else's underage child who drank and drove?
My husband regularly threatens my kids about how he would react if he found them drinking, doing drugs or "being at the scene of a crime." But we all know that teens from all kinds of families and backgrounds get into trouble and do things they know they shouldn't.
Just think about it. With social networking sites, kids can plan a party in hours and invite the whole school. They can have IM and text conversations with kids you've never met. It's so easy to wonder, "Where in the world was this mom when her kids were partying it up at her house?" But can you be 100 percent certain it would never happen at your home?