Here is the situation:
An acquaintance organized a very structured playgroup for moms & kids in the small military community where I live. I joined the playgroup back in April. I attended a few play dates with my three youngest DSs, but felt that the structured nature of the group and it's rules (mandatory attendance at a given number of play dates) were not a good fit for me and my kids, so I left the group after a month.
About a week after the last play date that we attended, the group leader approached me while I was in a group of other moms, and stated that my 5 yr old DS damaged her camera by spilling soap bubbles on it during a bubble exploration play date two weeks prior. I was caught off guard by the accusation, so I quickly acquiesced when she insisted that I pay for 100% of the camera repair bill. However, I did mention at the time of the confrontation that I didn't recall seeing my DS spill the bubbles. When I mentioned the situation to my DH, he stated that he didn't believe we should have to pay any of the repair bill because the camera owner couldn't prove that my DS damaged the camera. DH and I eventually agreed that we would offer to pay for 1/2 of the repair cost because I never saw my DS spill anything on her camera and couldn't verify any damage myself. I personally thought it was unwise to bring a nice camera to a bubble playdate and leave it on a table where kids were using bubbles, but I'm not sure that leaving the camera on the table constitutes any negligence on her part. Camera owner responded back to me that I was responsible for 100% of the damages (according to the playgroup agreement that I read and acknowledged).
So.. I'm unsure of what to do at this point. Should I just suck it up and pay the entire cost of the repair ($160), hold to my $80 offer (1/2 of the repair cost), or tell her to shove off? FWIW - I will run into this person on a regular basis because she lives nearby, and we have mutual friends. I don't want my reputation to be damaged and I also feel it is important to keep my word. However, I also have six kids, which means that even the $80 is a sacrifice for us. I don't want to shell out money unnecessarily in order to keep the peace.
Thoughts or advice?