If aperson at my party damaged someone’s car, am I legally responsible?

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If aperson at my party damaged someone’s car, am I legally responsible?

I had a house party. The day after, a neighbor said that a glass bottle was thrown over a wall and dented his car and smashed his windscreen at the same time (which sounds a little fishy to me). There was no witness to this incident. The wall the person threw the bottle over is quite a distance from my house and therefore the person who threw it would have to have been off my property. With no evidence or witness, am I legally responsible for the damage?

Asked on September 28, 2010 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legally, whomever damaged the car, either deliberately or negligently is liable. If it was a guest of a homeowner, the homeowner might also be liable. However, what can be proven is a different story. If you do not believe it was someone at your party who did this, you don't need to pay on demand; if the car owner disagrees, he can try to sue you, at which point (if the case goes to court) he would present his evidence that it was from your party and  you'd present counterveiling evidence. You might also decide, if he pushes ahead with a lawsuit, to see if you can't settle it for something mutually agreeable, to avoid the time and expense of a lawsuit. Good luck.


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