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Being sued for daughter's negligence

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CarrieJHagelberg

Guest
Several weeks ago my 7 year old daughter and several neighborhood children were playing in the backyard. One of the other children got a tire from a stack of tires in a neighbor's yard (the other children regularly played with these tires, rolling them, making swings, etc, before we moved in shortly before this happened).The kids (about 8 in all) were rolling the tire back and forth. My daughter rolled the tire to a child who failed to catch it. It rolled several blocks and damaged a car. Am I responsible? Are parents responsible for their children's negligence or only for willful misconduct. This was clearly unintentional. Are the owners of the tires responsible if the tires can be considered an attractive nuisance? Incidentally, according to the summons, the car owner talked to the owner of the tires who claimed "I told her to put the tire down and she let it go," so she was following instructions from an adult, if that's what happened. Should I bring my daughter to court? Originally the owner asked for $500 for her insurance deductible and she is suing for $2000 (probably more than the value of the car, an 87 Caprice Classic). Damage was to the window, rear bumper, roof and both rear fenders. I live in Massachusetts. Help!
 


HomeGuru

Senior Member
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face=" Arial, Verdana, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CarrieJHagelberg:
Several weeks ago my 7 year old daughter and several neighborhood children were playing in the backyard. One of the other children got a tire from a stack of tires in a neighbor's yard (the other children regularly played with these tires, rolling them, making swings, etc, before we moved in shortly before this happened).The kids (about 8 in all) were rolling the tire back and forth. My daughter rolled the tire to a child who failed to catch it. It rolled several blocks and damaged a car. Am I responsible? Are parents responsible for their children's negligence or only for willful misconduct. This was clearly unintentional. Are the owners of the tires responsible if the tires can be considered an attractive nuisance? Incidentally, according to the summons, the car owner talked to the owner of the tires who claimed "I told her to put the tire down and she let it go," so she was following instructions from an adult, if that's what happened. Should I bring my daughter to court? Originally the owner asked for $500 for her insurance deductible and she is suing for $2000 (probably more than the value of the car, an 87 Caprice Classic). Damage was to the window, rear bumper, roof and both rear fenders. I live in Massachusetts. Help!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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HomeGuru response:

Good thing the tire was not the Firestone brand. Parents are responsible for the actions of their minor children period. Negligence and willful misconduct included.
My freeadvice is to pay the entire $500 or pay half and have the owner of the tire pay half. Why should you pay for damages that the insurance company is going to pay? Did the tire owner file a claim against his/her homeowners insurance policy? No, you should not take your daughter to court unless she wants to be an attorney or judge when she grows up.

Do not make a big issue of this or it could really get out of hand. You could file a counterclaim against the tire owner for the tires being an attractive nuisance and the owner could claim that she told your daughter to put the tire down but your daughter refused and let the tire go instead. You could claim on behalf of your daughter, a minor child, that the other child was supposed to catch the tire but missed therefore casuing the tire to roll away. You could hire tire experts to testify if in fact the tire was defective and therfore continued to roll for blocks rather than stop in the yard. Experts could analyze the size of the tire, determine if steel belted or radials, white or black walls, conclude rubber wear and denegration, tread wear, trajectory pattern of roll, number of times it rolled before hitting the vehicle, speed of the tire and weight of impact. Other experts could be hired to interview all the children to obtain testifying expert testimony as to the events that transpired. Other experts could be used to determine and calculate using court accepted methodology, the condition of the yards, why no fences, weather conditions ie. sunny, cloudy, overcast, raining etc., moon and tide conditions, outdoor air quality, noise level, any contact with lead paint, asbestos, toxic mold etc. from adjacent homes, any children on medication (over the counter or prescription) and if so what the contraindications are from the family MD or drug companies, any children were, are or plan to be in an sort of counseling etc. By the way, where is the alleged tire?
 

I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
Dear HomeGuru:

Your responses are extraordinarily funny. Case in point: I didn't even get a chance to read your response to this one because after I read the first line, I was laughing so hard!!

Great stuff!!

IAAL

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By reading the “Response” to your question or comment, you agree that: The opinions expressed herein by "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE" are designed to provide educational information only and are not intended to, nor do they, offer legal advice. Opinions expressed to you in this site are not intended to, nor does it, create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information. No electronic communication with "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE," on its own, will generate an attorney-client relationship, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. You further agree that you will obtain your own attorney's advice and counsel for your questions responded to herein by "I AM ALWAYS LIABLE."

 
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CarrieJHagelberg

Guest
The owner of the car decided not to go through her insurance company but to sue me for entire amount of the estimate. There is only one estimate. Does she need to get more?
 

HomeGuru

Senior Member
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face=" Arial, Verdana, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by I AM ALWAYS LIABLE:
Dear HomeGuru:

Your responses are extraordinarily funny. Case in point: I didn't even get a chance to read your response to this one because after I read the first line, I was laughing so hard!!

Great stuff!!

IAAL

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks IAAL. It means a lot to me. Hey, if I can get attorneys to laugh, I must be the HomeGuru.

Catch you later at a post or two. Don't forget to check where the rubber meets the road. I hope your 3 exotic vehicles do not have Firestone tires. Flintstone tires ok. Good thing no Firestone brand condoms. Delamination of rubber casing due to excessive heat, high rate of speed and long drives.
 

HomeGuru

Senior Member
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face=" Arial, Verdana, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CarrieJHagelberg:
The owner of the car decided not to go through her insurance company but to sue me for entire amount of the estimate. There is only one estimate. Does she need to get more?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

She should get 3 estimates from licensed and reputable auto body repair companies. These companies should be on her insurance companies approved list. Still offer to pay only the $500 since she had full opportunity to have the balance paid by her insurance company. Find out the mileage on that classic Caprice and get the Blue Book value. If the book value is less than $500, offer to buy the car from her. It's gas guzzler anyway. Sweeten the deal and throw in say four tires and a spare.
 

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