Googly Eyed Tomatoes Exposes Entitled Brats

by admin on August 30, 2011

Ooooh, you all are going to LOVE reading this story.


Adult children’s ‘bad mothering’ lawsuit dismissed

Raised in a $1.5 million Barrington Hills, Ill., home by their attorney father, two grown children have spent the last two years pursuing a unique lawsuit against their mom for “bad mothering” that alleges damages caused when she failed to buy toys for one and sent another a birthday card he didn’t like.

The alleged offenses include failing to take her daughter to a car show, telling her then 7-year-old son to buckle his seat belt 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.

Last week, at which point the court record stood about a foot tall, an Illinois appeals court dismissed the case, finding that none of the mother’s conduct was “extreme or outrageous.” To rule in favor of her children, the court found, “could potentially open the floodgates to subject family childrearing to … excessive judicial scrutiny and interference.”

In 2009, the children, represented by three attorneys including their father, Steven A. Miner, sued their mother, Kimberly Garrity. Steven II, now 23, and his sister Kathryn, now 20, sought more than $50,000 for “emotional distress.”

Miner and Garrity were married for a decade before she filed for divorce in 1995, records show.

Click here for more of the story.


The remaining part of this news article describes the “inappropriate” birthday card as being American Greetings card that had a picture of tomatoes spread across a table that were indistinguishable except for one in the middle with craft-store googly eyes attached.  The inside printed sentiment was,  “Son I got you this Birthday card because it’s just like you … different from all the rest!”   Mom had the audacity to write, “Have a great day! Love & Hugs, Mom xoxoxo.”

Cruel, sadistic mother!  Her nefariousness is compounded even further when she failed to put any money in the card.  Folks, we are witnesses to the greatest evil ever inflicted upon poor, innocent children.  Googly eyes.   Got that?  Googly eyes plus no money is a deprivation tantamount to emotional abuse.   You all watch out because if I ever put a picture of a googly eyed vegetable in my responses here, you will know that I intended the highest form of ugly commentary on you I could think of.

Spoiled rotten brat, um, ahem (cough, cough), I mean Kathryn Miner, aged 20, claims being told by her mother to come home at midnight from a homecoming party and having a budget restriction for a dress were all deprivations so profound that years later she is irreparably damaged.

As someone in the article’s comments noted, the internet can be forever and deep stupidity such as this will live on in infamy for DECADES (cue the horror violins).  What employer or future spouse would ever hire or date either Kathryn Miner, age 20, or Steven Miner II, age 23?  If either adult child turns out to be a ne-er-do-well, can we say we were surprised?

I am disappointed that the judge in this case, Kathy Flanagan,  declined to assess sanctions against the children’s lawyer, who just happened to be their father, Steven A. Miner.  Remember that name all you Chicago area readers…do you really want to hire this kind of idiot attorney?   Flanagan should have slapped Miner with paying Garrity’s legal fees for bringing a frivolous, ridiculous, and obviously vengeful lawsuit on behalf of his kids.

{ 122 comments… read them below or add one }

Chocobo August 30, 2011 at 12:12 pm

So many children in the world that go through real abuse and horrors, and these children get thousands of dollars of free legal representation for a birthday card and a curfew. I agree with Admin — it’s too bad that the judge only dismissed the case, instead of slapping the “plaintiffs” with a fine for wasting everyone’s time and money (including precious taxpayer dollars spent to review and dismiss this case in the legal system).

Thank goodness they’ve at least exposed themselves for what they are to the world, so that both this law firm, their lawyerly father, and these children can be avoided at all costs in the job and dating market — forever.


Stepmomster August 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm

This would be a great argument for divorcing before your spouse ruins your children. Unfortunately the loudest, most annoying parent usually has the most influence over the children, not the nice parent. I am nauseated for that poor mother.


MellowedOne August 30, 2011 at 12:26 pm

It’s not difficult to see what went wrong. The kids’ petty claims are petty BECAUSE they are the few times both parents actually tried to do some actual parenting. Their actions speak of being raised in an environment where their every wish was granted with little to no boundaries.

Up to about age 2 everyone in a child’s life exists to take care of his needs. Then at age 2, parents typically shift roles from caretaker to instructor. Sometimes, as the example above typifies, they do not.


Chocobo August 30, 2011 at 12:27 pm

P.S.: This is why, if I have kids and I’m ever fortunate enough to be as wealthy as these people appear to be, my children will never, ever know. At least until it is far too late by the time they figure it out. No random shopping sprees — no use of “shopping” as recreation at all, actually — no gifts outside of birthdays and Christmas, learning skills to reuse and recycle existing possessions, and an emphasis on volunteering and giving back. I’ll do that anyway, but it’s probably even more important to do when you’re very rich. Sometimes I think it’s harder to be a parent when there are no financial barriers to saying “yes” to buying anything they want.


Jennifer M. August 30, 2011 at 12:31 pm

@Kitty Lizard – your definition of barratry applies to Admiralty Law, only. There exists more than one definition of the word. It even applies to selling positions within church and state (see Rod Blagojevich.) The people who used “barratry” in the context of this case are not wrong.


Jules August 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm

This makes me so very, very angry, it’s difficult to find words! So many children are abused every day in the most disgusting ways and they will have to live with that trauma all their life. And those evil brats have the nerve to sue their own mother for probably being the only sane parent they had. They are both more than old enough to understand how priviledged they are. I can’t help it – I really hope they will suffer the consequences of their actions the way Admin suggested.


Dear! August 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Finally a lawsuit and great people on Ehell that I can get behind! I am soooooooo going to sue my mom for making me eat my veggies, giving me a bed to sleep in that was not make of unicorn fur, and you know what the kicker is, what really grinds my gears about my mom….that she actually had the audacity to carry me for 9 months. The nerve of that woman!

…….These kids are real honest to goodness, good ole, priceless, gems. Real charmers.


Anonymous August 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Who else here thinks this might be a hoax?


lkb August 30, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I’d like to think that if I were the judge in this case, I not only would dismiss this frivolous lawsuit but also cite the two “pweshus widdle angels” for contempt of court, punishable by 90 days in a facility for homeless/abused/battered children. (Of course, daddykins would probably get them off, but I’d feel better.)


Lythande August 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

If those are offenses worthy of legal action, then what does fifteen years of actual emotional distress net me? Let me call that lawyer, I’ll have my stepmother’s wages garnished for life…

I think of all the frivolous lawsuits I’ve read about, this is probably the first one to make me angry. Upper-middle-class spoiled brats looking for the legal system to validate their entitlement… Gr.


Make Mine Red August 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm

On another website was a link to the court document. While I think the kids are selfish brats manipulated by their father, the mother comes off as standoffish and cold. What mom doesn’t send frequent care packages to their child away from school? What mom plays their kids against each other? I really think no one comes out of this smelling like a rose.


Justine August 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm

The entitlement!!! If I lived in the Chicago area I would remember that lawyer’s name for a long, long time. Calling your child at midnight and expecting them to come home safely sounds like love, not abuse.


News Reader August 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Get this… I know both of these bastards, and lil Steven is currently enrolled in law school to be just like his Daddy!


Ashley August 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm

The judge should have turned the whole thing around and fined these kids for wasting everyone’s time/money/resources. I can’t even handle this story…am forwarding that news article to everyone I know right now.


coryanderx August 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Make Mine Red (or anyone else) – do you know what website linked to the court document? I really wanted to read it but haven’t been able to find it.


Boca August 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I agree the kids are a mess. Sad. But, I question the son’s name. “II” is used for a son or daughter named exactly like another relative of the parents like an uncle or aunt or grandfather. “Junior” is used for a son or daughter named exactly like his or her father or mother. “III” is the child named after a grandparent whose parent is a “Junior.” My family had an aunt who did this sort of naming. Do not do it, please. One cousin, a “II,” had a very difficult time with the IRS and Social Security after he named his son after himself. There was a “Junior” of the man he was named for; so, “II’s” son became John Jones II, Junior. In my family we have John Jones; John Jones, Junior; John Jones II; and John Jones II, Junior. These are regular middle-class respectable people. No throne involved. They all live in one city. God must help us when John Jones dies. Some say we must adjust the names. Others say all remain the same. Others advise celibacy, sterilization, and commitment. Now my cousin, “Junior” threatens to name his child John Jones III.


Serenity S August 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I think the father was behind it all, just to harrass the mother and make her life miserable.

@ Make Mine Red: College age adults are not entitled to frequent care packages from their mother. There is no law saying that parents are required to do so legally to be seen as a fit parent. I feel that the mother probably could not afford such things, because of all the legal fees she has occured over the years due to the father’s harrassment. I read that this is not the first frivolous lawsuit that he has brought against her.

I don’t think that the card saying the son was unique was inappropriate at all. Also, having a price range for the prom dress is what typical parents have to do. I, also, would be afraid to associate with those children or their father, in case they tried to sue me for something ridiculous.


boz August 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Unfortunetly, the story did appear in the Chicago Tribune. Some people who know the lawyer dad involved said he is horrible, and has been professionally repremanded twice, so far. One woman’s ex husband had him as a lawyer for their divorce and she said he is just as he appears in this artical, vindictive and vicious.


Alkira6 August 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm

This has got to be an early April Fool’s joke. If this is real then I want off the planet.


Enna August 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Unbeliable. THey should be fined for wasting courts time. Many adults and children go through abuse and these two make a mockary of it. If one child was neglected and the other spolied it would be different.


Pickles August 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

The worst thing about this is that the parents–at least the paternal one–decided to drag the children into the middle of their own (or his own) divorce. It’s probable, from my own experience (starting when I was seven years old) that the parents usually dragged their kids into the middle of whatever disagreements they had; used the kids as “messengers” from one parent to the other; threw adult-appropriate issues at the kids to make the kids be on his or her side. My brother and I managed to keep ourselves out of the mess the older we got, but I’m sure there are a lot of children who never manage to find that kind of strength, and the only reason we don’t see more of these idiotic lawsuits is that not every divorcing couple has a lawyer as one of the parties…


ladycrim August 30, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I was hoping this would be posted here. This is what a society that spoils and coddles children leads to: good, responsible parenting being called ‘abuse.’ Thank heaven the judge is sensible!


Hemi Halliwell August 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Now that I’ve had a few hours to cool off and think about it I have a few questions:
( I still think they are ungrateful brats and suppor the mom’s decision to try to parent them)
1. Previous to the incidents the children sued over, were they given everything the want? If this feel this much entitlement, then surely they were always given everything the wanted before the incidents the mentioned.
2. Googly eyes, no birthday money, curfews and spending limits are what these children consider abuse/bad mothering? They ,along with their father, should be made to spend sometime around real abused children, children whose mothers let others molest their children for drugs or alcohol.
People like this are retched. We should all band together and demand they be punished. Or sue them for being ignorant.


Katy August 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Not only do I live in the Chicagoland area, I live in the same school district as these people. Believe it or not, my sister went to school with the son. And, for your futher consideration, the Barrington area is not well known for raising underpriviledged children. Let me put it this way, a rival high school reportedly had a ‘Barrington Snob Day’ (I’ve heard yes and no from people who went to that high school, so I can’t confirm it as anything more than urban legend meant to stir the rivalry). But new cars on 16th birthdays and credit cards were quite common in my high school. The 10 year old Plymouth Voyager I drove was commonly referred to as ‘the Pile’ or ‘the Hunk of Junk’ because it was not a nice, new car. Prom dresses often cost more than most women’s wedding dresses. I knew someone who at 16 had three different cars. So, no, I don’t think this is a hoax. And it embarasses me to think I’m from the same area, because I could go on all day about the spoiled brat behavior in our area that I have witnessed/overheard/heard secondhand. I’m surprised we haven’t wound up on a reality show for it yet.
That being said, I feel so sorry for the mother, and I think she should sue for her legal fees. I love the idea of leaving the kids $50,000 in the will dedicated to a charity, then sending the rest of her money to someone who needs it. I really hope that there are repurcussions for the father, because I sincerely doubt his assertion that he tried to talk the kids out of the lawsuit. There are two other lawyers, more than enough for them to choose to go forward on their own. If he truly felt it was a bad idea he could have thrown his hands up and said ‘go for it, you’re on your own’. But he didn’t. Which is why I don’t buy his story.
These children have no idea what bad parenting is. Perhaps someone should have them look up the cases of Brianna Lopez or Benjamin Sargent (DON’T look these up if you feel like not crying). That is bad parenting. Children who have been kept locked in closets or dog cages deserve to sue for bad parenting and emotional distress. A parent who picks out a cheezy card or puts a budget on a homecoming dress? That is good parenting.


admin August 30, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Hmmm, I wonder if I’ve opened myself up to a frivolous lawsuit from Mr. Miner?


AS August 30, 2011 at 5:03 pm

@Anonymous – I first thought I was reading an article from “The Onion” until I rechecked the website. Newspapers can exaggerate an issue, but I don’t think they can publish a hoax (unless it is April 1st, and they deliberately want to fool their readers). Also, as another poster commented earlier here, this lawyer, Miner Sr., seems to have a history of harassing his wife with law cases since his divorce.


LovleAnjel August 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm

If my mom sent me a card featuring a vegetable with googly eyes pasted on it, I would be lying on the floor in an uncontrollable fit of giggles. Those kids are going to fail at life.


AS August 30, 2011 at 5:09 pm

@Daisy, you teared me up. I am sorry for your loss.
I agree that some mothers are awful (we often see news about them); but this mother is not one of them. I hope the children understand someday.


Cheryl Olsen August 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm

@Serenity S
I didn’t say that children are college aged children entitled to care packages. I just asked what kind of mom is it that doesn’t send them. Care packages don’t have to be expensive, but they are filled with things that show you care.

Here’s a link to the text of the decision. After reading it found the mom to be cold.


cheesecake August 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I firmly believe that the father’s enabling behaviour is child abuse in itself, like feeding a severely obese child.


Katy August 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I’ve been thinking about it, and doing a little math. I have read that the father was awarded custody in the divorce in 1995, making the kids approximately 8 and 5. If this is true why wasn’t he paying for the assumably overpriced homecoming dress? Did he NOT make the son wear a seatbelt in the car? Was he going to let his daughter stay out past cerfew for a homecoming party? If he had primary custody and these kids weren’t getting everything they wanted as children don’t you’d think he would be at least partially culpable?


Wink-n-Smile August 30, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Boca, if John Jones, Junior names his child John Jones III, then what will John Jones II, Junior name HIS child? John Jones II, III?

And if John Jones dies, then . . . my head will definitely explode.

Please, someone just name your son Ferguson, OK?


Wink-n-Smile August 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Make Mine Red – My mother, who loves me very much, didn’t send care packages while I was away at school. I didn’t need care packages, because I had money and time to go shopping, myself. Now, care packages to soldiers and missionaries who don’t have the time and money, or the stores available, to go shopping – that makes sense. Care packages to a college student? Not so much.

She did send me a monthly allowance and expected me to learn how to budget that money. Therefore, if I ran out of money, she did not send me more. It’s part of teaching me to be a responsible adult.

She did, and still does, however, show her love in other ways – less tangible but much more meaningful.


AS August 30, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Sorry for posting several messages… this is so ridiculous that I cannot stop myself from looking up.

I found the Daddy-Miner’s AVVO profile. It seems there has been diciplinary actions taken against him earlier.

Some readers said that they saw the actual court document. Can you please post the link.

BTW, @”Make Mine Red” – I do not see any place (based on the news that I read) that the mother tried to play the kids against one another. Where did you get that from?
As someone else said earlier, it is not a necessity to send care packages to college. Maybe the mother simply could not afford it. Or maybe she knew that the kids or their father would not appreciate that.


Yuki August 30, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I am from this area, and I will honestly say it is an ‘entitlement capital of the world’. Not that everyone is, but there are quite a few 😀


Riri August 30, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Erm what? Entitled much? By homecoming age, I had a job and was buying my own necessities so that my parents could spend their money to, you know, pay for my food and raise me.


Lady Tee August 30, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Probably the wisest thing poor Ms. Garrity can do at this point would be to change her name and move out of state with no forwarding address.


KitKat August 30, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I agree with LovleAnjel about the card. In fact, I loved getting silly cards that just said “hi!”

@Make Mine Red: I am just out of college and do you want to know how many care packages I ever got from my parents? 2 out of 10 total care packages. Doesn’t mean my parents don’t love me any less. They knew I could live without a care package. Those other 8 were from relatives, were holiday specific (Halloween and Valentine’s day), and were unexpected (but welcome) surprises.


Iris August 30, 2011 at 8:19 pm

@Cheryl Olson – Perhaps a mother who has no custody or visitation rights to her child for an extended period of time and hence has no real relationship with them? Ms Garrity had visitation rights with ONE child only. It’s a messed up situation and from reading the court documents I really didn’t see a cold woman, I simply saw a messed up situation.

The ‘pitting the children against each other’ refers to things like buying things (like CLOTHES) for the child she is partially responsible for, when she is visiting her, and getting excited when she actually sees the other child for a change.

Reading the court documents made me angrier than I can say.


Echo August 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Okay, I’m going to play Devils Advocate for a minute and say that I can kind of a little bit understand (but absolutely not condone) the childrens point of view. I guess when you live in an upper class area, especially with the extra information Katy provided, not having a new dress for Homecoming might leave you open to taunts from your classmates. If these kids were still teenagers and just complaining about it on a blog or something, I’d roll my eyes and move on. But 20 and 23 is more than old enough to understand the way the world works.

Ordinarily I’m against cases like these receiving too much media attention because you’re just giving them the attention they want, but in this case, the more media attention the better, for the reasons Admin cited in the OP.


MyFamily August 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm

After reading the full complaint – there may be some very valid examples of bad mothering, but possibly with the exception for the unexplained broken arm, none of them are worthy of court involvement. I actually feel sorry for all of them; no one can come out of this happy.


ArtK August 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm

One of the gems from the ruling cited above: Apparently, the mother was responsible for half of the kids’ medical expenses, but wouldn’t take their word for it and required receipts. Somehow this is ‘abuse’.

As for why the appellate judge didn’t sanction: It’s very, very hard to get sanctions against a lawyer. I’ve been reading of a case recently where some people filed a request to intervene (permission to file an amicus brief.) The judge denied the request. The people and their lawyer then refiled not once, but twice. The last time, the judge said: “For Mr. Parker’s sake, and because the Court has not time to hold a sanctions hearing–in part because it must take time out of deciding the actual legal issues in this case to address the self-serving entreaties of attention-seekers like Mr. Parker–the Court assumes Mr. Parker is as incompetent as he appears. Rather than sanction him, the Court simply does what Mr. Parker would have done if he was a competent professional, and seals attachment 7 to his motion.” (Parker is the attorney in that case.) Those of us watching the case are hoping that Parker and his clients try a fourth time, just to see what the judge would say.

@Cheryl Olson: You asked the question “what kind of mother doesn’t send care packages?” The implication being that it’s a bad mother who doesn’t send care packages. I’m sure that there are lots of good ones who don’t and some bad ones that do — just to look good. If that’s your criterion for good/pad parenting, I suggest you recalibrate your standards.

I’m also not sure how you can read that the mother was “cold” from that ruling. It’s a litany of the children’s (and father’s) complaints, which should be taken with a very large grain of salt. Their whole purpose in putting that list together was to make her seem “cold.” Mr. Miner could probably make Santa Clause seem cold, if it were to his advantage in a lawsuit.

@AS: The allegation that the mother “played the kids against each other” was in the original complaint and is mentioned in the appellate ruling linked by Cheryl Olson above.


kelly August 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm

How is this guy allowed to abuse the justice system to carry out what amounts to legal stalking. It souns like he just has to have some hold over her, and does it by suing her constantly. The justice system sould nto be set up so lawyers can haress their exs for the rest of their lives. Not sending adults care packages – who cares, I am from the UK and I have never heard of that. And lets face it college aged students are adults, and maybe these ones were vile brats then toowho did not deserve care packages other than an etiquette guide. Why shouldparents run around after vile children even when they are adults. If you want nice things, be nice.


kelly August 30, 2011 at 9:21 pm

is their a defence fund for the mother people can donate to.


insulted (not) August 30, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I think “googly-eyed vegetable” is going to be my new curse word substitution!!!


Cat August 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Reminds me of a friend (age 24) who came to comfort me (age 23) after my mother died and my father was in the hospital with a near fatal heart attack. I was all alone and had no friends in the area.

His Mother phoned him to come home at midnight because it was too late for him to be out with a woman! He ran home like he was on fire.
He never married and today (age 63) he is an alcoholic and a recluse.


bunnyface August 30, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I think some important stuff is left out here. She filed for divorce, but was there a custody issue? Did she try to get custody? Maybe she didn’t and the kids are bitter. Maybe she had joint custody and helped raise them to be what they are today. Maybe she was denied custody and they were raised by influential members of the father’s family (parents, siblings, new wife?). Who knows? Sure, it’s none of our business, but it might help explain where some issues could have started. In any case, my reactions are 1) Lady, these are YOUR children, and most of the time we reap what we sow. 2) Look, “kids,” you’re both over 18. Suck it up and make your own awesome lives from now on and stop blaming your parents.


Brian Katcher August 30, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Oh, c’mon, wouldn’t you have loved to see this go to trial. Could the lawyer really say ‘Googly eyes’ with a straight face?


PrincessSimmi August 30, 2011 at 10:32 pm



Jen August 30, 2011 at 11:43 pm

I feel like we should adopt the UK system, where you can get in serious trouble (fees, jailtime) for stuff like this. Too ridiculous.


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