Child Standing Behind a Bathroom Door...

by Patty
(Temple City, CA)

I went to a buffet restaurant. When I went to the restroom and opened the door, there was a child (3-4 yrs old) standing right in front of the other side of the door. There was no way I could see if there was anyone behind the other side of door. The child was with an adult at the time. The door slightly hit the child (I believe the door hit his forehead).

As a courtesy, I said I was sorry. The adult asked the child if he was okay and the child said nothing. In my observation, that child was totally okay. The adult didn't say anything to me and we went back to eat on our own.

When I left the restaurant and went to the parking lot to retrieve my stuff from my car, I saw that the adult (who left the restaurant a few minutes after me) seemed to be copying my car license plate number. However, he didn't proceed to talk to me.

1. Do you think he has a case against me, suing me after a few days?

2. I think it's that adult's responsibly to keep the child away from the door before it's opened, because there's no way people entering the restroom would know if there's anyone behind the other side of the door. What do you think?

3. There's no sign posted at the restroom door to tell people they need to open the door cautiously. So, do you think the restaurant is liable in this case rather than its customers? Thank you!

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Child Standing Behind a Bathroom Door...":

Patty (Temple City, CA):

You have nothing to worry about. If the adult choses to copy your license plate down instead of speaking with you face to face you already know what kind of a person you are dealing with.

You did nothing which would incur any legal liability. It's regrettable you had to spend any time worrying about such a baseless possibility.

If you do receive a letter from the adult throwing it away wouldn't be a bad idea. The child wasn't seriously injured and in all likelihood didn't develop any "medical problems" after the incident.

There are some people who look for an easy buck. People who always look for a reason to sue other people are the main reason reason our insurance premiums continue to rise and our courts continue to be clogged with cases - many of them frivolous.

If this answer didn't completely quell your anxiety about the incident you can always stop at the restaurant and seek out the manager who was on duty at the time of the incident. Ask her if the adult reported the incident to her.

If the adult did report it, ask the manager what the adult said, especially if he/she mentioned any injuries. Unless you receive a letter from an attorney you would be well-served not to worry about this matter any longer.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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