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Parents of partying teens who trashed home of ex-NFL player may consider legal action – against him

Parents of partying teens who trashed home of ex-NFL player may consider legal action – against him

Yesterday I covered the story of ex-NFL player Brian Holloway, whose upstate NY house was trashed by a couple hundred partying teens. Holloway watched the entire situation unfold on Twitter from his primary residence in Florida, as teens at the party tweeted out photos and comments.

In response, Holloway set up a website called HelpMeSave300 and a companion Facebook page to post the teenagers’ own evidence and a call to help track them down. He’d been hoping that the teens would proactively take responsibility and he aimed to work with them to redeem themselves for their bad behavior.  He was also hoping to send a broader message to the parents that they need to make themselves aware of what their children are doing on social media.

Now the parents of some of those kids have threatened possible legal action against Holloway for posting their information.

From the NY Daily News:

But rather than apologize to Holloway for their children’s behavior, some parents have contacted their lawyers to see what legal action they can take against the former Patriots and Raiders offensive lineman, local affiliate ABC News 10 reported.

“Parents have threatened me,” Holloway, a three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XX veteran, told ABC News. “Your kids are in my house breaking and stealing my stuff and you are mad at me because I posted pictures that they took and posted themselves of them partying and tearing things up?”

Holloway also spoke to TMZ, which reports:

Holloway tells TMZ … he’s been told by the Sheriff’s Dept. some of the parents are furious because their poor kids have now been exposed.  Some bitch that it will hurt their chances of getting into college.  Others whine their poor kiddies are being harassed at school.  And they actually have the audacity to threaten a lawsuit.

On the HelpMeSave300 website, there is at least one email posted sent to Holloway by one of the party’s attendees who was there for a short time.  S/he explains that many at the party were unaware they were trespassing and thought it was the home of another student.  The sender of the email says s/he was not listed at Holloway’s website and took no part in the destruction of property, and also offers to assist Holloway in repairing the damage.

Holloway has said he knew some of the students, as he has hosted non-alcoholic functions at the house in the past.

In the interview with CNN, the former NFL lineman said the kids initially broke into the house through a number of ways – by breaking and kicking in a couple of windows, entering through one back door and using a ladder to get in through another window.  From there, an estimated 200 to 400 teens showed up, some of them causing what Holloway says is at least $20,000 in damage.

“Well, I think there’s a bigger message here, it’s not just the kids, it’s the parents,” Holloway told CNN.  “Because we all have to stand accountable for this, the kids just didn’t turn out that way. We as a community have to respond to these conversations kids are having that we don’t know about.  And so a big question that I’m going to put to the parents is hey, let’s bring them back up here, let’s have a conversation and you tell me, that’s your child. What should we do about that, and how did we get so far off track? And how do we find our way back?”

Holloway invited teens and their parents to come out to the NY home to help clean up in preparation for an event he’s scheduled for this weekend.  While some volunteers reportedly came to help, of those, Holloway said only one teen (and one parent) with connection to the party showed up.


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You know, if his insurance covered the repairs, the parents of those little darlings may get their day in court, and do so in a manner they may not appreciate!

    Ahh, the joys of a subrogated claim. I concur. The teens (and possibly the parents, depending on the teen’s age) likely WILL get their day in court, and it will NOT be one that they enjoy.

    Everybody say it with me: “Joint and Several liability.” Then the little monsters and parents can get on with suing each other for contribution.

      Sir, I’ve been many things in my life but “lawyer” wasn’t one of them. Could you please define, “Joint and Several liability,” as I honestly don’t know. Thank you for your time.

        Phillep Harding in reply to LCVRWC. | September 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        IANAL, but it means something like one can be held liable in place of everyone.

        As you might gather from other comments, this can result in some entertaining tatling, finger pointing, and blame sharing. If you have that sort of sense of humor.

        IIUC, pick the vulnerable or most “brittle” then break out the popcorn. People you never knew were involved can be pulled in by someone accused by someone accused, by someone accused, etc.

        Milhouse in reply to LCVRWC. | September 22, 2013 at 2:21 am

        It means that if a group of 300 people caused the damage, they’re each liable for all of it. If 299 of them are too poor to be worth suing, but one is rich enough to pay for the whole damage, the victim can just sue that one and recover for the whole thing. That one rich perpetrator can’t say he’s only responsible for 1/300th of the damage, he has to pay for all of it. He can then try to recover some of it from his poorer fellow-vandals, if he thinks it worth doing.

    Insurance my cover his claims, but they will then have the right to go after the kids and their parents. Insurance companies are not obliged to just absorb costs related to acts of criminality. Acts God, yes, but not acts of criminality.

I have run into this numerous times. The parents facilitate the kids actions. Actually, I have found that the best way to handle it is to attack the parents. If you prosecute the kids parents because the kids have alcohol, that is one action. But the best is to obtain pictures and information on the parents and publish it. This has an enormous influence on handling these type of people. The parents are allowing their kids to do this stuff as they want them to be popular. The parents are also social types. To upset their image is one of the worst things you can do, it even beats threats of suit. I doubt you would run a significant risk of slander. If you want to see the effect in real life, research what happens in Dallas when parents allow their children to have alcohol. The parents are featured in the paper, this stops the activity big time.

    “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life Son.”

    Dean Vernon Wormer

    That may be a feel good solution, but I don’t think punishing the parents for the sins of the kid is the answer. Just as punishing a kid for the sins of a Parent is not the answer. Personal Responsibility is.

    Sure, we can SHAME the parents, and believe me, I’d go all out in that regard. But the punishments should fall squarely on those responsible.

      NC Mountain Girl in reply to Paul. | September 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      Please explain how what was proposed isn’t shaming the parents. Also who besides the parents can one hold financially liable for damages when the party goers haven’t yet obtained legal age?

        Imagine you are the parent of a teenager. Your darling has broken some serious laws and foolishly broadcast that fact over open media. The victim notes what your darling broadcast and publicly offers your child an opportunity to avoid going to juvenile court and face up to what was done. And you think the victim should NOT have done this? What part of personal responsibility do you wish to shield your child from, and for how long? You, as a parent, have failed. Live with it. Your child has been, at the lest, irresponsible. Since you didn’t teach them that very well, apparently, accept this stranger’s offer to help them learn without getting a permanent juvenile criminal record. The temporary embarrassment will be worth it. Or, live in denial and rage and turn your kid into a future felon. Your choice.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Paul. | September 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      It is when the parents condone the behavior.

      NbyNW in reply to Paul. | September 20, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      I agree that punishing the parents is not the answer. I believe parents are liable for damage their kids cause, whether it was anything the parents could have prevented or not. That’s just part of being parents. It happens to good parents that do their best and lousy parents. As a parent, you can’t have total control over your kids, and still allow them the freedom to live normal lives. To suggest parents are morally responsible for everything their child does is to be like those who blamed Sarah Palin for being a bad mother when her daughter got pregnant.
      If parents that threaten to sue Holloway find it backfires, well then, they’re being punished for their own actions.

        janitor in reply to NbyNW. | September 20, 2013 at 8:37 pm

        Parents ultimately are responsible for how their children behave, their values and character.

          NbyNW in reply to janitor. | September 21, 2013 at 1:13 am

          Not that many years ago, psychiatrists thought that autistic children were created by “frigid” mothers. They weren’t. The profession demonized mothers instead of providing support, which is what they and their children needed. There are bad parents, but there are also good parents who do everything they possibly can to raise good kids, and their kids still fail. The above commentator was correct that it is a “feel good” motive to punish parents for their kids’ transgressions because you feel you’re “doing something”. But that doesn’t mean it’s correct or beneficial or even moral.

      Paul in reply to Paul. | September 20, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Huh? These parents are threatening to bring frivolous lawsuits against the guy whose house their delinquent children trashed. The threat of the frivolous lawsuit is the second sin which he would be punishing the perpetrator for directly. And of course the children should be shamed, arrested if they can be found, and made to make reparations somehow. And if they have trouble getting into college or landing a job because they were ignorant enough to do this and document it for the world to see, well so be it.

      Signed, the Other Paul.

      mariner in reply to Paul. | September 21, 2013 at 12:40 am

      How about punishing the parents for the sins of the parents?

      They’re the ones who allowed this behavior, and then had the nerve to mumble about suing Holloway.

    Phillep Harding in reply to david7134. | September 21, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    That depends on the local CPS. Someone I knew actually packed his bags and left the state without telling his kid where he was going because the boy had learned how to use CPS against his father. The boy was just running wild, and dear old dad was getting raked over the coals by the family court for not keeping him under control, or for trying to discipline the boy. No win at all. So he skipped.

    SOB left owing me $850 on a boat he and the boy trashed.

The second a lawsuit is actually filed, he should file suit against every parent of a kid who showed up. I don’t care if it is just one family that sues, they should ALL feel the force of God’s Own Fury.

And when he does so, he should make it absolutely clear that the reason is the lawsuit, and he should name the people who filed it, so as to further ruin the lives of the assholes…

I’m not sympathetic to the parents at all nor to the teenagers. The teenagers put their own future in jeopardy, not this man.

Stop sheltering these teenagers from the consequences of their actions. They know what they did was wrong.

I’m interested to see how this all ends.

Darren McKinney | September 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm

If any of these pathetic excuses for parents find a slime-ball lawyer or lawyers willing to file such lawsuits, I invite Mr. Holloway to be in direct touch with me. I will personally see to it that every plaintiff, every employer of every plaintiff, every house of worship of every plaintiff and every living relative of every plainitff — and all of this goes for every plaintiffs’ lawyer, too — is relentlessly hounded and shamed by pickets and the media until their lawsuits are withdrawn. If these parasitic vermin are stupid enough to pull the trigger on lawsuits against Mr. Holloway, they should expect nothing less than scorched earth tactics from me and my countless allies in the business world, all of whom are fed up with the shamelessly meritless litigation that clogs our civil courts. We’ll see to it that your idiot kids are never allowed to so much as cut grass on an Ivy League campus, and they’ll never find employment beyond the corner gas station or area big-box store. So go ahead, drop a lawsuit. Make my day.

-Darren McKinney, Director of Communications, American Tort Reform Association, Washington, D.C.

You can tell by the actions of these parents, that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Will the parents’ theory be that the kids had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of their tweets? Really?

    Actually, it will probably be the parents of the teens who did not take pictures or did not engage in property damage who were incidentally caught by those taking pictures. They’ll claim that their little darlings had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in that they thought they were attending a private party on private premises.

    If tried, it will fail. As it should.

    Knowledge that you’re on somebody else’s property is not necessary to trespass. Intention to place your foot where it falls is all that is necessary, and if you place it where you intend it, and that happens to BE somebody else’s property, then you HAVE trespassed. Period. It’s almost a “strict-liability” tort.

    You’re supposed to KNOW the individual who is hosting the party, and that they have the right to be doing what they’re doing.

And people wonder why the world and in particular the U.S. is screwed up these days, huh?

What was the name of that fish wrap in NY that published a map with all the weapon owners?

One child, who was not involved in the trashing of the house, has shown the way. That child’s parents should feel proud. For the rest of them? May they hang their heads in shame.

At REDDIT a lawyer dropped this comment suggesting what the ex-NFL’er’s recourse might be:

“He has grounds. Parents are liable up to a certain amount for the intentional wrongdoing of their minor children. An intentional trespass qualifies, and I believe it carries with it liability for any damage caused by the trespasser. Any kid he’s got a picture of in his house is toast.

Judging from the damage, Holloway’s estimate of $20k to clean it up is way too low. If I were his lawyer, I’d pick one or two of the kids with parents rich enough to have good insurance and go after them at full NFL speed. I’d also sue the parents for failure to supervise, and I’d assert “joint and several” liability. That’s a rule that says any of the wrongdoers can be made to pay the entire damage award themselves. What happens when I do this is that those parents turn it over to their insurance company, which is obligated to hire lawyers of its own choosing to defend the case. Those lawyers say, hey, there were other kids and parents just as responsible and we need to spread the pain around. The defendant kids try to protect their friends (maybe) but the lawyers are in charge of how the case is handled and they say BS to that. If the insured parents don’t like it they can be reminded by a nice form letter that failure to cooperate in the defense of the case voids their coverage.

Fingers would start getting pointed real fast. Within a very short time, the pain is spread around by the wrongdoers themselves as they start blaming one another. I think it would be a delicious life lesson for the little fuckers to learn. Ain’t high school a bitch?”

NC Mountain Girl | September 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Maybe some of the kids who showed up initially thought they had the owner’s consent but surely when the saw what was happening surely they wised up that the entire set up was far too good to be true. When I was that age I always figured that if my parents wouldn’t allow this type of party in our house the odds were my friends parents didn’t know or approve what was happening in their house. I applied the same rules to borrowed cars, the boat owned by a friend’s parents, etc.

    Carol Herman in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | September 20, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Huh? This was like a flash mob! Kids showing up knew the owners were not at home!

    However, they were all teenagers. And, since they kept using their cell phones to “tweet” around their behaviors … they had to know what they were doing to this home. IN this home. Was not something they could do in their own places. (That’s a clue. Then, add drugs.)

    Since the story is viral, it will probably still “make news” IF any lawsuits are filed.

    I don’t think hearing threats of “I’ll sue” amounts to a hill of beans.

    When I was young my mom would say: “Anyone can sue. All you need is $2 to go to court and file the paperwork. BUT, she added, it’s another ballgame when you’re inside the courtroom. Because THEN you have to convince the judge. And, when my mom faced the judge, she was in her element.

    Not all that many miles from Albany. Calling together 200 to 300 teenagers … with news (in case parents didn’t know), has now gone viral. And, has been carried on news shows on TV. Means parents in this area have to be incurious … not to ask their own kids any questions.

    Meanwhile, I think this is gossiped about far and wide. And, many parents have heartburn. And, worry about a culture where their kids can “party” like this … and have access to alcohol and drugs. Sure. Instead of lawyers, they’re calling counselors and asking for help.

That kid’s story about them thinking it was some other kid’s house is bogus. Kids in a small town would know the unoccupied houses.

As for the homeowner, dude, haven’t you heard of burglar alarms with full light and motion sensors? From the time they kicked in the back door, broke the window, opened the front door, whatever they did to enter, that alarm should’ve been kicking full and loud and the cops should’ve been alerted and come to the house. In my own house, we’ve tripped the alarm a few times and had the cops come, very silently, at 2 or 3 AM.

As for the parents, the guy should make them pay through the nose. It’s what they deserve for teaching their kids to be irresponsible.

Alarms have a nasty habit of going off, and creating a racket, just because a wild animal’s “motion” sets them off. And, Holloway lives in FLORIDA! Who’d come by and shut the electronic alarms off? (This spread is on something like 42 acres.)

AND, THE COPS DID COME! They ushered everyone out of the house. But the “raid” had gone on for quite a bit of time. And, all the damage was done.

Who taught these idiots to urinate on carpeting?

And, who brought the pens? Did they fine the “art supplies” because they rifled through drawers?

The cops didn’t arrest anyone. (I’m amazed at that!)

Cops who can’t see felonies when they come on site … and notice the kids creating this havoc!

I wonder if the sheriff gets a promotion?

    Phillep Harding in reply to Carol Herman. | September 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I lived across the street from a vacant condo with a too sensitive alarm.

    Sure was a tempting thought to go over with a shotgun and blow that siren off the wall.

Well, after all, kids will be… life-sucking demons.

All I can say and as is the case of Mr. Holloway…no good deed goes unpunished. These kids are unredeemable. He should have known no one would show up. If they went so far as to carelessly trash his house why would they admit it. They think either no one will ever find out they wee involved or their parents will get them off the hook. I do not agree with Mr. Holloway’s idea of trying to redeem them. I don’t think that is his job and in doing this he has taken on more that he should. It is the parents’ job to straighten these kids out. Ifthey can’t or won’t so be it. I don’t say these kids should go to jail but they should be put to work to pay for this damage and do community service for a year or more. There is no other way to get it into these brats’ heads that what they dd was wrong and unacceptable. And even that would probably fail. They are too far set on this path with alcohol, sex and drugs. Otherwise we can look sometime in the future at another house that is trashed or something worse.

As for cops not arresting anyone, the probably didn’t have the facilities to hold all of them. They should have obtained all their names, addresses and phone numbers though and be told their parents would be called and informed of their actions. For all the good that would do.

I have a question though. If the cops catch people like this red handed, do they have to wait for the homeowner to file charges or can they arrest them outright? I have never thought aout this queston before because I didn’t know if a homeowner could let a burglar off the hook when caught in the act by the police.

WE certainly know how the little darlings turned out the way they did.

Amazing that these egg- and sperm-donors don’t realize how fortunate they were that Mr. Holloway didn’t press charges at the outset, giving the cretins a chance to fess up and do what’s right. Instead, they have the unmitigated gall to play victim.

The kids may have all been underage, but I’m not buying for a minute that not a one of them knew what they were doing was wrong. They knew it full well, and if there is any justice, their refusal to repent and turn themselves around will dog them for a good long time to come.

Maybe then they might learn that if you’re going to do stupid stuff, don’t post it on the Internet ~

Screw the kid who killed his parents and demanded leniency for being an orphan … this redefines chutzpah.

In the end, the kids have no case — except their criminal one.

Lamontyoubigdummy | September 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Threaten the “parents” with investigation into their current welfare/ EBT status.

Problem solved.