Host Liable For Holiday Party Guests At Home

As we head into the holiday party season, a local lawyer is offering some advice to anyone who hosts a party.

Mark Katzman, a partner in the law fire of Katzman-Wylupek says the host is responsible if someone over-indulges and gets hurt while on the premises. He says if you have a party and serve alcohol and somebody has a few drinks and gets hurt, the court may find the host liable and negligent under the Host-Occupiers Liability Act.

 Katzman told AM800's 'The Afternoon News',  while the host of a home-party is responsible to monitor the well-being of a guest, that onus is on the guest if he leaves the party and gets into an accident.

"The law hasn't evolved to a point where they hold a social host responsible for injury to an innocent third party down the road. But they are responsible if an injury occurs on their premises."

And while a host may be found responsible for an injury in that case, Katzman says that's not likely to be the case once the guest leaves the party.

"If that person gets in their car, drives and causes an accident inebriated, the court has been reluctant to go back and find the social host responsible for negligence for the accident hat occurred down the road."

Katzman says the laws are different if someone over-indulges at a bar which has a much greater responsibility.


- With files by Patty Handysides.