But is the suit frivolous? Stephen and Hianne Kenney actually sued David Weaving first. His claim is a counter suit for $15,000. Weaving claims that the boys parents should have insisted that the 14-year-old cyclist wear a helmet. If a helmet would have saved Matthew Kenney's life, is it a bad thing to bring the issue of parental safety into the public eye? Doesn't the defense typically plead "contributory negligence" if there is any evidence of fault on the plaintiffs?
Much is being made that David Weaving filed the counter claim while serving his time in jail. Does a person lose all legal rights to represent himself once imprisoned? The counter suit for $15,000 for failure to protect Matthew seems within the realm of reason if Weaving is somehow correct. Yet by being found guilty in December 2008 of manslaughter and other charges, the public sentiment is clearly against Weaving. Weaving can not possibly have a valid excuse for driving at 83mph in a 45mph zone at the time of this fatal Connecticut accident. While not relevant to any finding of guilt, Weaving's driving record reveals five previous occasions where he was caught allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. (Not a sympathetic defendant by any means.)
Joanne Kenney told the press that the counter suit was compounding the original hurt. "It's a constant reminder. Enough is enough. Can you just leave us alone and serve your time?" Yet, the Kenneys are the one's who initially initiated the civil suit. While the media reports that the Kenneys are incurring legal fees, don't plaintiff's attorneys usually take such suits on a contingency basis? As for Weaving, without free legal services would he have anyone to help defend the civil suit? Connecticut allows free legal representation because he has little or no income. In his handwritten counter claim, Weaving says that had the Kenneys "complied with the responsibilities of a parent and guardian and the laws of this state and not allowed their son to ride his bicycle without a helmet ... this incident and Matthew's death would not have happened".