Liquor liability, also referred to as "Dram shop liability" is the body of law governing the liability of bars, taverns, liquor stores, restaurants and social clubs arising out of the sale of alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons, who subsequently cause death or injury to third-parties, those not having a relationship to the bar, as a result of alcohol-related accidents.
While selling liquor to an obviously intoxicated customer represents the most common dram shop violation, the illegal sale of intoxicating beverages can take other forms, such as selling liquor without a license, selling liquor after hours or selling liquor to a minor.
Social host liability is the legal term for the criminal and civil responsibility of a person who furnishes liquor to a visibility intoxicated guest or minor, who subsequently are involved in vehicle crashes or other activities causing injury or death to third parties, but these are not necessary conditions. A social host is the host of a gathering of any kind, from a two-person dinner party to a large convention or company party. A social host can be an individual, a corporation, or a group, such as a fraternity or social organization. The size of the gathering is inconsequential - from a single guest to a guest list of thousands, the social host can carry a hefty financial burden under social host liability. A social host maybe liable for physical and financial injuries suffered on the part of a guest who causes injury to a third person.
We proactively handle these cases with the goal of early resolution. When early dismissal is not possible, we provide aggressive and effective trial representation. We also have extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
Our familiarity with the issues related to dram shop and social host liability enable us to effectively advise clients on how best to avoid litigation or pitfalls that compromise subsequent litigation. Our goal is to help clients avoid practices and procedures that could bring about litigation or which could impair a client’s defense in the event of litigation.