WOW Word-Of-the-Week #369: Outrageous

August 31, 2011 by  

Outrageous – grossly offensive to decency, authority, etc.

Did you happen to hear or read about the “Bad Mothering” Lawsuit this weekend? Do you think that a child suing their mother for not buying them a toy is outrageous? How about claiming they didn’t like the birthday card she sent?

Steve Schmadeke of the Chicago Tribune wrote, “Raised in a $1.5 million Chicago suburban home by their father, two grown children have spent the past two years pursuing a unique lawsuit against their mom for ‘bad mothering’ that alleges damages caused when she failed to take her daughter to a car show, told her then-7-year old son to buckle up or she would contact police, ‘haggling’ over the amount to spend on party dresses, and calling her daughter at midnight to ask that she return home from celebrating homecoming.”

Fortunately, an Illinois appeals court dismissed it finding that none of the mother’s conduct was “extreme or outrageous.” The mother’s attorney, Shelley Smith, claimed the “litany of childish complaints and ingratitude” in the lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt by her ex-husband to “seek the ultimate revenge” of having her children accuse her of “being an inadequate mother.”

What made me do a double take on this story is that I happen to know the mother, Kimberly Garrity, from our days of working with the Illinois Restaurant Association in the ’80’s. On more than one occasion I socialized with her family. What I think is absolutely outrageous is that even though this got thrown out by the judge they were allowed to appeal it. And even more outrageous, is that she has to pay all of her legal fees while the children have their father for free. (If the case had gone to trial she would have been reimbursed the cost of her attorneys fees.)

This week’s focus is on “the outrageous.” Have you ever experienced grossly offensive behavior? What course of action did you take? Do you believe that there actually could be a good side to this story? Well, there is. I spoke to Kim and she said, “The outpouring from the media has been so positive. This story has been picked up around the world. It totally backfired on my children and they will have to live with that for the rest of their lives.”

Reader Responses

“Wow! What a story!” – Sandra

“Thanks Sooz- I too followed this story on the news – I agree with you.” – Katie

“My immediate reaction to the story was sadness. It is the classic case of divorced parents using their kids in a battle against each other. Frankly, I’m not surprised. What it really points up is the inadequacies of the mother and father as parents. They did not do a good job raising their children and this is the result. These are the types of lawsuits that should simply be thrown out of court and never heard. These are nuisance suits that are brought by irresponsible people who have too much money. If parents can’t solve their problems in their homes, they have more problems that cannot be solved by the courts. Whoever brought the suit should not only be made to pay the legal fees of both parties, but all of the court costs as well. Obviously, we live in a litigious age, but poor communication between people has made it worse. I am not surprised by anything anymore, Susan. This is just the latest example. Thanks for the word, Susan.” – “Warrior” Joe