Summertime and Social Host Liability

Summertime is no doubt the full of fun in the sun and various types of entertainment, and many times, these events include the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Sometimes, these parties attract people who are under 21 who are not legally allowed to consume alcohol. Not only is it illegal to provide alcohol to underage individuals, but party hosts could also face a liquor liability lawsuit if the minor leaves the premises and injures themselves or others.

Minors and Social Host Liability in Pennsylvania

Most states have implemented some form of a liquor liability law that addresses the overall legal responsibility of hosts, restaurant owners, and bars. It’s important to note that there are no social host liability laws in Pennsylvania that apply to those who are 21 or older. For instance, if someone is 23 and leaves a party visibly intoxicated, the host cannot be held liable.

In Pennsylvania dram shop claims involving adults over 21, the claimant must show that the host or property owner served alcohol to a person that was already intoxicated, acting erratically, or habitually drunk. When it comes to underage drinking claims, the only thing the claimant must prove is that alcohol was served to someone underage who then injured themselves or others.

Potential Damages

When a minor is served alcohol and injures themselves or someone else, the establishment owner or social host is held liable for the injuries that occurred. For example, if a minor injures someone in a car crash, the host who served alcohol could be sued. Dram shop and social host liability claims allow for the specified injured parties to seek compensation for damages including:

  • medical, hospital, rehabilitation, and pharmacy bills related to the injury
  • lost wages and other compensation
  • the value of lost future wages
  • property damage
  • pain and suffering

While additional insurance protection may cover the costs of damage in normal dram shop lawsuits, it will not cover instances where damages occurred when someone underage was served alcohol.

Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney

Not only can someone who serves alcohol to a minor be held criminally liable, but they may also be liable if the minor sustains injuries or injures others. Never attempt representing a dram shop case personally because they can be complicated and well-defended legal cases. Turn to the personal injury attorneys at Marciano & MacAvoy for help pursuing your liquor liability case.

Contact our firm at   (215) 960-0789  for a free consultation.

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