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Guy Threatens To Sue His Cousin After He Broke His Prosthetic Leg While Playing A ‘Prank’ On Him


Pranks are usually well intentioned, but they can have seriously negative consequences.

If they involve someone’s prosthetic limbs and those limbs becoming broken…you might want to rethink this prank altogether.

Reddit user aita404-117-513 found himself in that very situation, uncommon as it may sound.  His prosthetic limb is now broken, and he is considering legal action against the person who broke it—his cousin.

Acting against the wishes of other family members, he went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” to get validation for his choice to pursue legal action.

He asked:

“AITA For refusing to listen to my parents and wanting to sue my cousin for a ‘prank’?”

Our original poster, or OP, set the scene where he had to take in his cousin:

“I (31M[ale]) recently had my cousin (M21) move in with me after he got kicked out of his college dorm and had no job to pay for rent.”

“My parents told me I needed to step up and help because I own a house, live alone with my two golden retrievers and two birds that I had since last year.”

Unfortunately, his family and cousin aren’t the best people:

“My cousin would make fun of me whenever I call my pets ‘family’ and thinks I’m crazy. He has a bad sense of humor and thinks he’s funny.”

“He calls me funny nicknames like robot/terminator/optimus prime and others because I wear a prosthetic leg that I’ve gotten after I had an infection 2 years ago.”

OP’s patience was already wearing thin when his cousin crossed an intense line:

“I been patient with him causing a mess and not even doing his own laundry it’s been 3 months and it’s too much already.”

“So Recently he started doing pranks and using my personal things in his pranks. Like clothes/my phone/stuff from the kitchen etc.”

“I usually take off my prosthesis before going to bed and since I work all day I got to bed early unlike him (he stays up til 3-4am). He decided to pull a prank and hid my prosthesis somewhere.”

OP demanded to know where it was:

“I saw that it was gone in the morning (he did this twice before and hid it in his room and the garage.)”

“I had enough of his bullsh*t and I asked him where he took it. He joked and said that it was inside the fridge. I was livid.”

“I started screaming at him to stop it and to tell me where my prosthesis was before I kick him out.”

But unfortunately, it was brought back to him broken:

“He realized I was being serious and told me that it was in the attic I let him go get it. When he brought it to me he looked worried and started apologizing when I saw the socket had cracks.”

“The adjustment pyramid and pylon were damaged. He told me he hid it under the old tv and didn’t think it was this fragile. It was there overnight so the damage has already been done.”

OP completely lost his patience:

“I lost my sh*t. I yelled at him while all he did was apologize saying it was just a prank ‘bro’ which made it worse.”

“I told him to leave, and called my aunt to tell her about what her son did and that she needed to pay for the damages.”

His family immediately gave him backlash:

“Her reaction was shocking. She said that it was my fault because I knew how her son is and decided to take him in anyway and that she won’t take responsibility for his actions.”

“I told her I’d seriously sue because I’m broke and have no money to pay for a prosthesis and crutches are unbearable. I was so angry. I kept lashing out at everyone.”

“Especially my mom and dad who argued with me and said that I can’t sue ‘family’ and this is my cousin and he meant no harm.”

And continued to gaslight him:

“I told them that he created this situation and needed to fix it. They called me awful for refusing to wait til Christmas and family gathering is over, and then they’ll figure something out.”

“I told them to stay out of it, but now they’re telling me to not cause an issue because we’re in the holidays and suing my cousin will make them look bad to everyone.”

“I’m stuck here with crutches feeling awful. After all, they tried to shut me up and told me to wait til holidays are over.”

“Then they’ll ‘raise’ money for me and my cousin gets away with it.”

Reddit either validated or criticized OP’s decision by declaring the following:

  • NTA- Not The A**hole
  • YTA- You’re The A**hole
  • NAH- No A**holes Here
  • ESH- Everyone Sucks Here

Reddit was a little shocked that OP even had to ask if he was at fault.

“NTA. Dude you’ve got to have your leg, ffs. He/your family need to replace it immediately. Expecting you to use crutches till after the holidays to save Christmas or whatever is abusive nonsense.”

“There wouldn’t be trouble to start with had your grown cousin not ruined your prosthesis with a terribly stupid and immature ‘prank.'”~DeadGirlTalking_13

“Start a GoFundMe page and spell out exactly what happened and that your family is not making things right. I would include your cousin’s name and everyone else.”

“Then post it in your FaceBook page with a link to toy GoFundMe page and why it exists. If all your family cares about is how they are perceived in public let them the negative attention for what happened.”

“If they cry foul, tell them you gave them a chance to make things right and they didn’t. A GoFundMe account may have a two-fold purpose of helping you with your prosthesis and publicly humiliating your family.”

“Now you know why your cousin is so f**ked up. His parents never held him accountable for his actions. I would kick him out of your house immediately.”

“I am wondering if there is potential for some type of criminal charges. Definitely consult an attorney.”

“NTA but your cousin and family are big time.”~Avebury1

“NTA. Your cousin is freeloading at the request of your family and is damaging your stuff because he’s bored, including delicate and expensive assistance devices.”

“Step one, he’s packing his bags today.”

“Step two, he or his immediate family (not you), is paying for repair or replacement of the prosthetic with funds being sorted by Christmas or you sue.”

“Chances are at this time of year you will have a delay in even getting it assessed – you may be without it for weeks or longer. If the family won’t commit to paying for it, the absolutely sue. Family can totally sue family.”

“Step three, strongly consider going no contact with your family who care so little for you they think it’s ok for you to be abused in your own home by a freeloader they insisted you take on and then blame you when he abuses you.”

“What he is doing is absolutely abuse, it is not ‘just a prank bro’ and he is escalating.”~Fraerie

“NTA. Obviously, he’s terrible. But if you sue him, would you even get any money? You said he’s broke.”

“You’ll only get paid if there is money to be had, and you can’t sue his parents because he’s an adult and they had nothing to do with it.”

“Definitely kick him the hell out and ask your family to help you buy a new one as they mentioned.”

“To maximize your chances of getting the money from them I would recommend being low key about it. Catching more flies with honey, etc.”

“Edit to add: if it were me, that guy would be dead to me. I’d pretend he doesn’t even exist. Don’t get dragged into a big argument or anything.”

“Also I’m so sorry you have to use crutches, that sucks really bad. That kid deserves to be beat over the head with one.”~drunkonmartinis

Furthermore, Reddit is pointing out that his family is absolutely rife with red flags.

“NTA. Screw what they’re saying. He’s 21 not 12. He’s never going to learn if he isn’t forced to take responsibility.”

“Go to the cops and have him charged with destruction of property. Then file civil charges for the replacement cost. Never let anyone tell you family means letting them get away with crap like this.”~nemesina77

“NTA. He is utterly reprehensible. He’s the one in need and proceeds to not only take advantage but mock you and make your life more difficult.”

“He’s shown that family doesn’t mean anything to him so show that the word has no meaning when you’ve been treated like this, because it really doesn’t.”

“Evict him (check your options and do it legally) and sue him for damages.”

“Might even be able to get in something like emotional distress. He’s 21, an adult in every sense of the word. Time he faced actually consequences for his actions as clearly his parents are utterly useless.”~Dangerfyeld

“NTA – He didn’t just break something you own, he broke something that is critical to your life.”

“This is just as bad (or worse) as someone breaking a person’s glasses, wheelchair, throwing out needed medication, or something similar.”

“Your cousin, effectively, broke your leg for his own entertainment. It is in no way your fault nor should you have to apologize for wanting there to be some consequence to his behavior.”

“Anyone who is upset with you for expecting your cousin or his parents to help provide a replacement is missing the point.”

“Your cousin didn’t consider the holidays when he broke your prosthesis, why should you be silenced because of the holidays?”~setalltheboundaries

“NTA. How is taking and breaking someone’s prosthetic leg something that can wait to be resolved after the holidays?”

“‘Family doesn’t sue each other’? Well family shouldn’t refuse to replace the expensive prosthetic they broke.”~peachandpeony

And legal action is not only advised, but likely necessary.

“NTA, but legally, you’re probably having to lawyer up. Here’s some things to consider:”

“You can’t sue your aunt or demand payment from her legally since he’s way past 18.”

“No way around that, the only thing you can do is to sue your cousin for damages (small claims court won’t cut it I’m afraid, these are limited for, well, small claims) and file a police report for damaging your property.”

“You might have a chance talking with your health insurance, property insurance or home insurance to see if a) the damage is covered or b) they can borrow you the money for repair/replacement and take over enforcement and prosecution. But for that, they will require a police report.”

“Depending on the jurisdiction you live in, your cousin may have gained legal tenant status which together with coronavirus protection laws means it is extremely hard / impossible to legally evict him.”

“Again, one of the few workarounds is domestic violence/abuse protection laws, so you will need to file a police report for that to work.”

“Anyway, you have to hand him a written eviction notice almost everywhere, so the earlier you do that, the better.”

“Regarding their family: cut that dumpster fire off. Tell them that either they manage to collect the cash to pay for damage in a week or you’re going no contact for whatever time you feel appropriate.”

“Also… you said you won a house. As a last line of resort: take an equity loan on it to pay for the repair/replace and the lawyers.”

“It’s horribly expensive, but if that’s the only way you can get a new prosthetic… well yeah. You can always add the interest and fees onto the bill you submit to your idiot cousin.”~mschuster91


“‘But he’s fammmilyyyyyy’ Yeah what the heck are you, a frog???”

“If he had broken your leg attached to your body no one would be telling you it was a prank while you were in a cast/had to have surgery to fix his bullsh*t – why is your prosthetic any different?? You still can’t walk without it.”

“Lawyer up and serve his a** with papers. Someone has to pay to have it fixed and it certainly should NOT be you.”

“I cannot imagine going to bed and waking up to find someone had broken my cane/wheelchair/walker ON PURPOSE.”~G-Bone1

“NTA – Hiding a prothetic leg from someone isn’t a damn prank. And those things are extremely expensive.”

“You let him stay in YOUR home and he destroyed an expensive piece you NEED to live a comfortable life?? Hell no. I’d kick his a** to the curb and sue for damages.”~ghostcraft33


“I’m pretty horrified that his idea of a ‘prank’ is putting a family member at a physical disadvantage by stealing their bloody leg at all.”

“That’s really not that funny, even if he hadn’t broken it. Clearly his sense of humour, and moral compass, is skewed.”

“He needs to pay up for a new prosthesis and your family need to nut up and stop enabling this AH by letting things slide.”

“They’re not doing anyone any favours. You’re down a leg, they’re going to be out of pocket and he, quite unfortunately, probably still thinks he’s funny. Everyone loses.”

“Make sure you never help him again, the shameless little oik.”~Panaccolade

When such normal, straightforward wrongs are done to us and our family reacts this poorly, it pulls back the curtain on a million little red flags and leaves us with a choice.

Do we continue to invite this behavior into our lives, or do we make the choice to cut it out for good?

OP certainly has that choice in front of him now.

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.