Social host liability protects your child at others’ parties

Firm News On Monday, February 19, 2018

You sent your child to a party thinking that everything would be fine. You knew the parents as acquaintances, and you hadn’t heard anything bad about the childhood friend your child wanted to go see.

You assumed the child’s parents would be present, and they were when you arrived. Later, you got a frantic call from your spouse stating that your child was rushed to the hospital during the party. He’s in deep trouble now, because he’s struggling with alcohol poisoning. You never expected him to get intoxicated — after all, he’s underage. What can you do? What will happen to your child?

One thing you may want to consider is looking into social host liability. There are laws that make sure that those who provide alcohol to minors are held liable for any injuries that happen as a result.

The importance of social host liability

Social host liability is important because it guarantees that there is someone to hold accountable if your child, a minor, is hurt as a result of one’s actions or inaction. For example, if the parent knew there was alcohol in the home and allowed the teens to drink as much as they wanted, it would be reasonable to hold the parent responsible for your child’s illness. Serving alcohol to your own child is one thing, but allowing other people’s children to drink so much that they fall ill is another.

In Connecticut, social host laws apply to guests of all ages. That means that even if someone over the age of consent was injured at a party like this one, he or she may have a case because the host didn’t prevent him or her from drinking too much.

Hosts have to be cautious to protect themselves against liability. Guests should be aware that if hosts don’t stop dangerous behaviors, the hosts could be responsible for any injuries that result.

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