Can someone sue if they accused a toddler of causing damage to their car?
Question Details: My toddler leaned on a car hood at a ball field. I saw him and had him immediately stand up. He literally leaned his head on his arms because he was tired. The owner has accused him of putting large scratches that removed paint high on the hood close to the windshield where he cannot even reach. He is demanding that we pay for this damage our son did not and could not have done. He is now asking people we know for our personal information, stating he wants us to pay or will sue us. At the time of the incident no police were called, he just pointed out the "damage" and accused our 3yo demanding we give him our information to fix it. The "damage" is consistent with that from road debris. Do we give him out info to speak with him again? Do we get a lawyer? Do we file a harassment charge with our local town police. We live in a small town and can't believe this ridiculous accusation and continuation thereof. I do not want to make things worse but I refuse to let this individual make such a false accusation and continue to speak ill to others about my family.
Legally, you would only have to pay for the damage IF you son caused it. To get the money from you if you refuse to pay, he'd have to sue you and prove in court that your son caused the damage, which, based on what you write, may be very difficult for him.
If he is stating untrue facts that damage your reputation to other people--and claiming that you are not paying for damage caused by your son is an untrue fact damaging your reputation if you son did not and could not cause the damage--that may be defamation, and you could sue him for monetary compensation and/or for a court order that he stop doing this. A personal injury attorney could help you with this.
If he is trying to find out information about your minor daughter, that may be illegal stalking or harassment. You should go to the police and report all of his activity towards you, but focus on the attempts to get information about your daughter--the police are very sensitive to possible threats to minors.
If he does sue you and the case is baseless, you will have to still defend yourselves--if you don't defend properly, you could lose due to procedural reasons--but may be able to seek compensation from him by filing a counterclaim for defamation (if you haven't already sued him) and malicious use of process (bringing a frivolous claim to try to extort money from you) and/or by seeking sanctions against his attorney (if any) for participating in a frivolous suit.