A schoolboy's practical joke on a pal has left his parents $48,000 (£31,000) in the red after the prank went horribly wrong.
Canadian teenager Carson Dean decided to play a trick on his friend Ben, a fellow pupil at Wellington Secondary School in British Columbia, Canada. He nabbed Ben's padlock and attached it to a door in the school.
Not the world's greatest prank, you may think, but things escalated when a dinnerlady ordered Carson to remove the lock. Looking for another location to prank his friend, the 14-year-old managed to attach the padlock to one of the school's fire sprinklers.
A crowd, including Ben himself, soon gathered - but the padlock proved difficult to retrieve. Carson began trying to jump to reach it, and in the process triggered the sprinkler's activation mechanism.
The first sprinkler's activation caused the others to automatically spring to life, treating the entire school to an unexpected downpour and forcing students to evacuate. After a clean-up operation, the school were left with an eye-watering bill for water damage repairs.
The school district sued Carson's family for the total sum of the damage, $48,630. The Deans in turn argued that Carson had not intended to cause any harm, and that students had not been warned about the potential consequences of interfering with the sprinkler system.
The case has stretched on for more than two years but has now come to a close, with Judge Shelley Fitzpatrick ruling in favour of the school district.
"I am sure that this is a very unfortunate result for the Dean family," she wrote in her ruling, continuing that she nonetheless felt that the responsibility for the damage rested with Carson.
To give Carson a hand working out just how long he'll be forfeiting his pocket money, we've done the maths ourselves. Based on the rate of a fiver a week, he should have paid off the money by the time he's 129. Get washing that car!
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