Babysitter gets sued after heroic act

Babysitter gets sued over house fire after saving children's lives

A 12 year-old girl is babysitting. One of the children finds a lighter and plays with it. A fire results which spreads to the house next door. The young girl gets the children out of the house safely.

Some might call her a heroine. Unfortunately she is being called the defendent when two years later the notice of claim is given. This child is being sued for the cost of the damages caused by the fire. It makes you think twice about letting your child go out to babysit.

Aaliyah Braybrook, of northwestern Alberta is said to have failed in her duty as a babysitter when one of the young boys set the fire with a lighter found in the home. The boy's father is also named in the lawsuit.

You might ask how will this claim be paid? A child does not have the money to hire lawyers and eventually pay out a claim if found in court to be negligent. You have likely guessed the answer, yes, it is the parents who will have to pay.

When you have a house fire your home insurance will first take care of your needs including repair or rebuilding your home. Behind the scenes your insurance company will look to see if they can recover their money paid out from another insurance policy. So if you fail to put out a lit cigarette in your garbage and it burns down the duplex then expect your insurance to be addressed for your neighbour's damage. Insurance companies call this process "subrogation".

In the case of the babysitter then her parents' homeowners or tenant's insurance is going to be brought into the picture. Children have some liability coverage under your property policy for their temporary or part-time business pursuits. Babysitting could be deemed to be the child's business pursuit and the home policy may pay out.

One of the reasons we set up TurnersTips website is to help people deal with some of the everyday issues of insurance. Adventures in babysitting was an unexpected topic! We will keep you informed as the case develops.