What is my responsibility if my son accidentally flooded half of his school?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What is my responsibility if my son accidentally flooded half of his school?

My son threw a pencil down the hallway of his high school to one of his friends. Accidentally, the pencil hit a sprinkler and broke the glass part of the sprinkler that automatically makes it go off. The sprinkler went off and the pressure of all the water made the pipes in the ceiling burst because the pipes were old and too weak to hold all the water. It caused half the school to flood, leaving damages. The principles said I owe $2,500 for the insurance down payment. Do I have to pay all of the insurance even though a sprinkler with normal piping would not have burst and flooded the school?

Asked on November 12, 2015 under Business Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you most likely have to pay the $2,500.00. Regardless of whether the pipes were old or not, your son negligently (or unreasonably carelessly) triggered the sprinklers by inappropriately throwing a pencil in school and hitting the sprinkler's trigger device. His carelessness in doing so--doing the thing that caused the sprinklers to deploy--makes you, as his parent, liable for the cost.

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