Legal Question in Business Law in Texas

4 year old broke toy and stained floor at bakery

My 4 year old son broke a toy on the floor of a local bakery. The bakery claims the liquid in the toy stained 7 of their chairs and ate through the finish on the floor. They want us to pay for the chairs and to have the floor refinished. I feel this is a matter for the store's insurance. The manager frequently calls me and asks me to call her at home. When I offered to contact her insurance company directly she became irate and accused me of letting my child run wild. She angrily informed me that she has witnesses who will attest that my child was unsupervised. She informed me that her insurance does not cover customer damage and that we will be held liable. I told her she can communicate with me only in writing as she was calling on Saturday and Sunday. The bakery is a franchise of a larger nationwide chain. Do I need legal representation? If she sues us do we have a chance of not having to pay?

Asked on 4/12/03, 2:09 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Joseph A. McDermott, III Attorney at Law

Re: 4 year old broke toy and stained floor at bakery

If you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy, ocntact the insurer (or your agent) and ask that it defend you against this claim. Now I have a non-legal question for you: why do you think that you shuld not be responsible for the actions of your child?

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Answered on 4/14/03, 4:35 pm
Paul T. Hebda, Ph.D., J.D. The Hebda Law Firm

Re: 4 year old broke toy and stained floor at bakery

First, it seems strange in today's world that a liquid in a child's toy would eat through flooring finish. Do you have a second toy or know where to get another to ascertain the contents of the toy?

Second, I assume that you will continue to be called until you hire yourself an attorney to step in between you and the manager while dealing with the situation. Your attorney may be able to nip it in the bud once they know you are represented.

Yes, they can file a suit, as just about anyone can file a suit for just about anything. This does not mean that they all have merit, but all are inconvenient.

Good luck.

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Answered on 4/12/03, 2:26 pm
Eliseo Rico III The Law Office of Rico & Associates

Re: 4 year old broke toy and stained floor at bakery

Sounds to me like much a do about nothing, but if you are sued I suggest you obtain legal representation immediately. My suggestion to you is to consult an attorney to assist you in this matter.

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Answered on 4/12/03, 2:51 pm

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