Am I liable for an accident that happened while my son was an invited guest at a friend’s house?

UPDATED: Jul 22, 2016

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Am I liable for an accident that happened while my son was an invited guest at a friend’s house?

My son spent the night at a friend’s house and apparently they went in the attic and his foot went through their ceiling. His mother has no money and is requesting that we pay for the damage. I am upset that he was in the attic in the first place. Why wasn’t she watching them. My son is 14. Am I liable for accidental damage while my son is under someone else’s care?

Asked on July 22, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You are liable IF your son acted unreasonably carelessly for a 14-year-old. A teenage that age is not expected to act as carefully as an adult might, but is expected to show some common sense. If the attic clearly was unsafe to enter or walk on but he did, then you could be liable for the cost to repair--an example would be if it was not really floored, but only had rafters you had to step on/from to avoid going through the drywall ceiling of the floor below. It is obviously unwise to walk around in that kind of attic. On the other hand, if it would appear to be safe but simply wasn't, then he did nothing wrong and you would not be liable for the damage he did.

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