Drinking Buddy Liability?
There's a legal doctrine in some states called social host liability. In a nutshell, it means if someone gets ripped at your bar (or house), you may be liable if that person hurts someone in a car accident. Mr. Dube really tried to stretch the doctrine. Bhoge and three of his buddies had been drinking most Friday nights for about a 1 1/2 years. One night, Bhoge was trashed, drove the wrong way down a one-way street, and seriously injured Mr. Dube. Dube first sued Bhoge, and got an undisclosed amount (probably not much). So then Dube sued the bar (who was dismissed) and some of its employees (also let out of the case), and BHOGE'S THREE DRINKING BUDDIES.
Why would the drinking buddies be liable? Social host liability! Dube's lawyer argued that
Lanphear was a social host because he entertained the others by paying for the drinks, and alternatively that the foursome was essentially a "drinking club" in which each effectively hosted the others.The result? Drinking buddies everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief. The suit against the drinking buddies was tossed. Although friends should look out for each other (and be concerned about the harm a drunk-driving friend can cause to others), it's another thing to hold the friend legally responsible for his buddy's stupidity.