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Your Liability as a Social Host

In a recent case, resulting in a $300,000 settlement, the parents of a 17 year old high school student were found liable under social host law, for injuries that occurred at a party on their property. The aforementioned party was unsupervised, and alcohol was present. Two boys began wrestling during the party and as a result, one suffered a burst fracture. Although the parents were not present, nor directly responsible for the incident that transpired, they were held liable as the incident occurred on their property and involved unsupervised minors.

It is important to be aware of social host liability when throwing a party or event, especially when minors are involved. Social host liability laws relate, but are not limited to, instances in which minors are involved in alcohol related accidents. The law pertains to events in which the alcohol has been knowingly provided to minors. This encompasses any injuries that occur as a result of excessive alcohol intake. As a host, it is important to be aware that you are responsible for the safety of your guests, especially if they are minors.

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