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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 37871
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My 5 year old son accidentially scratched the Nannys car (in

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My 5 year old son accidentially scratched the Nannys car (in our rental home driveway) while I was at work. The nanny admitted that she was not outside supervising our three children when it happened. Now she and her husband is insisting that we pay to have the door repainted for $1000 - $1240. I know that the general rule is parents are not liable except in the circumstance of "tort", intentional, or neglect but is my 5 year old seriously responsible?
Isn't this the Nannys falt for lack of supervision and therefore neglectful in her duties. Is it legally correct to tell her the responsibility is hers since she was the only adult available to intervene?

The scratch is a "tort," if it was carried out intentionally -- it would be considered "trespass to chattel/personal property," and you could be held liable under ORS 30.765. However, a 5 year old child cannot possibly form the mental intent to intentionally scratch a vehicle. So, there's no way for the vehicle owner to successfully sue, even though you could be held liable were the child a few years older.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne, this is an accident, the vehicle owner's insurance is the primary resource to obtain repairs, and you are not going to be held liable, because, as you say, the nanny was responsible for supervising the child -- so, she would be negligent for failing to supervise the child.

Hope this helps.
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