As I understand, you are saying that a person you barely knew gave you $1600, and wanted nothing in return. Now that you don't want to hang out with him, he wants his money back.
He can hire attorneys if he wants, but he is likely going to have to act like this as a debt owed to him. If he truly asked nothing in return, this is a gift, and you probably don't owe him anything. If he said I'll give you $1600 since you show up here every Tuesday and will be here all next year, things might be different.
If he pushes hard, see if you can get one of the pro bono organizations to help you. the link here might help.
The above is not intended to be legal advice, but may be used for general information. Please contact an attorney for specific help tailored to your needs. www.figgardenlaw.com
Yes, you can certainly be sued. It is possible. Whether or not the plaintiff can win a small claims court lawsuit is entirely another question. Your contention will be that the money was a gift with no obligation to return it. His contention will be that the money was a loan. Without a promissory note or anything from you in writing, I think he will have a tough case to prove. Moreover, it is highly unlikely he has lawyers and a private investigator for a $1,600 "debt".
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.