Can a babysitter sue us for an injury caused by my 5-year old son?

UPDATED: Apr 21, 2011

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Can a babysitter sue us for an injury caused by my 5-year old son?

The 30+ year old babysitter was calling my 5-year old a “baby” and his older brother started teasing him as well.A Temper tantrum started and the 5-eaold started kicking and hitting. Now the babysitter claims she is sore and needs to see a doctor.

Asked on April 21, 2011 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

IF your baby sitter can prove that she suffered injury and/or costs (medical costs?) due to an injury done by your child, she MIGHT be able to sue you. Alot will depend on the specific facts and what she can prove; also, on what her own actions and therefore culpability or responsibility are.

Given the size/strength disparity between a 30 year old and a 5 year old, it's unlikely she can make out that he caused her injury. Also, it is very likely that on the age differences and her role, she would be found to have either contributed to her own injury (if any) by how she interacted or supervised him, and/or that she assumed the "risk" of minor bumps from a young child when she agreed to babysit. So in most situations, she would not be able to make out a case, but that's just a general rule; each situation is governed by its own circumstances, and there are circumstances under which you, as parents, could be sued for injuries caused to a babysitter by your child. If she comes back requesting something very modest in amount, it may be best to pay her but get her to execute a release which bars her from any future claim or suit, then look for a new babysitter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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