Rhode Island Supreme Court Rejects Social Host Liability Claim

July 15, 2008

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s decision by refusing to hold a Manville couple liable for the injuries a woman and her boyfriend suffered in a car crash after drinking at the couple’s home.

Brianna Mari Serapiglia was 22 when she lost her leg in the 2002 crash. Her mother asked the court in her suit to expand the scope of the state’s social host law. She claimed the couple, Maurice and Barbara Omar, goaded her daughter and her boyfriend into overindulging in alcohol before the crash.

A lower court rejected the claim, saying the saying the law was inapplicable in Serapiglia’s case.

The Supreme Court agreed in a decision this week, saying it’s not the judiciary’s job to set public policy.

The court noted that all parties were above the legal drinking age and that the Omars had no intent to commit a crime.


Information from: The Times, http://www.pawtuckettimes.com

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