If a neighbor borrows my lawn mower, then negligently allows a young child to operate it while barefoot and the child is injured, can I be held liable?

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If a neighbor borrows my lawn mower, then negligently allows a young child to operate it while barefoot and the child is injured, can I be held liable?

I suspect that I probably could be.

Asked on June 29, 2014 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, you most likely would not be liable unless you were yourself at fault in some way, such as by not maintaining the mower properly (which contributed to the injury) or by entrusting it to your neighbor when you had reason to know he/she could not be so trusted (e.g. the neighbor had prevously injured people with power tools or allowed young children to operate age-inappropriate devices). If you did not do anything wrong, then it is the neighbor, not you, who should be liable.


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