California Could Alter Party Host Liability

February 19, 2014

California’s highest court is considering a case that could shatter a legal shield that has long protected party hosts in the state from certain alcohol-related lawsuits.

At issue is who is responsible if a young person organizes an underage drinking party and charges for admission, and then a drunken guest is hurt or injures someone else.

Generally, people who hold parties can be liable if they serve alcohol to intoxicated guests who later cause damage or harm.

But there is an exception in state law for individuals who sell alcohol at a party, whether they are licensed or not.

That has protected organizers from alcohol-related lawsuits in those situations.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday the Supreme Court is considering a 2007 case that could change those rules.

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