WA Is Son Liable to Pay for Damages to Mobile Phone?

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6 October 2015
Not sure if you can help, I need some help.

My 21 year old son was at a grand final party on sat, all present were extremely drunk. After many hours drinking. People got pushed into the pool and one girl is saying my son pushed her in. She doesn't remember who did it but has been told he did and as a consequence her mobile phone is ruined. Her father is demanding my son pay for replacement and is saying he is going to take it through the magistrates court.

My son does not remember pushing her in. He did say he pushed some in as well as being pushed in himself. He however had put his valuables on a bench when he realised everyone was going in the pool. This girl stayed by the pool the whole time.

Is he responsible to pay the phone or is it a joint responsibility or her responsibility. Can you please help? He is a uni student and doesn't have savings.


Well-Known Member
11 October 2015
Hi Kazziebear,

Due to the girl not remembering your son pushed her in and the fact she is relying on someone else's memory of the event, my opinion would be that her case does not have much weight to stand on.

As there is alcohol involved in the evening and your son doesn't believe he didn't push her in, I believe your son could not be held liable.

If people are at a party with a pool, why would they stand next to it with a phone?

Taking a case through the courts would cost a lot more than the price of a phone so it does not seem like a very logical solution.

Perhaps your son could write a formal letter to the family saying he is sorry her phone is ruined but he does not believe he is liable and therefore will not be reimbursing her for her loss. I would suggest that he is very careful to avoid admitting fault.


12 September 2015
What the girl is saying is hearsay and not admissible as evidence. My opinion is do nothing and say nothing. Words, even a conversation after the event, can be enhanced to build support for the claim. Actually the claim is nonsense considering the statement that everyone was blind drunk. How many were there? Was there a tight group when an accident might occur?

A magistrate would be asking a witness "Did you see the girl get pushed into the pool? One final thing is for the boy to write down a full note of all he remembers of this event including where he was at the time, what else was happening, who can corroborate his explanation, was anyone else pushed in during the 'playtime' at the party. Why was the girl phoning while standing next to the pool? She took a calculated risk and may just have fallen in herself or got jostled in the general party scene.