Holiday drinking can bring hosts liability problems - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Holiday drinking can bring hosts liability problems

Posted: Updated:

MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - With holiday parties almost on every street corner this month, many of us may be unaware of the risks we may be taking. It would be a very good idea for party hosts need to understand their responsibilities when inviting people into their homes and serving food and drinks.

Experts are noting that holiday hosts need to be aware that if someone leaves their party and drives drunk or becomes sick after consuming food at a holiday party, the host could actually be liable.

In fact, a casserole could bring just as many risks as a cocktail. A recent survey found that almost three-fourths of homeowners had served food in their home that was prepared by someone other than themselves. That means more than 111 million homeowners in the United States have put themselves at risk for a lawsuit by just feeding their guests.

According to insurance experts, whether the food served came from your kitchen, a pizza delivery truck or a five-star caterer, if you serve it, you could be liable if anyone gets sick. Even a simple neighborhood holiday potluck could have disastrous results for the host if someone is stricken with food-poisoning.

So what is one to do?

First, do your homework. When hosting a holiday party, individuals should look to the liability portion of their homeowners or renters insurance policy to protect them if they are sued and found liable for an accident involving a guest who drank or got sick after consuming food at their home. Consumers should regularly review their liability coverage limits to ensure they are adequately covered should an accident or illness occur.

Then, watch what you eat and feed others. Even if food was prepared outside your home by a caterer, another guest, a local deli or the neighborhood pizza joint, YOU could be held liable if someone becomes ill from consuming it on your property. Make sure that you check food and don't put anything out that you suspect may be undercooked, spoiled or contaminated. Use only reputable food purveyors. Follow proper food-handling, heating/cooling and storage recommendations. When in doubt, throw it out.

Then, there's alcohol. In many states, party hosts can be held liable if a guest is involved in an alcohol-related accident. Many courts have found hosts liable for damages their party guests cause as a result of consuming alcohol and then driving motor vehicles. Many states have also enacted statutes that can be interpreted as mandating non-commercial social host liability. So, if a guest or third party is injured in an accident that is related to alcohol consumption and the drinking can be linked to you, you could be held responsible for the payment of medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost time from work and — in the worst case — claims for wrongful death resulting in huge monetary settlements.

Always good advice when it comes to holiday partying: Arrange transportation or overnight accommodations for those who cannot or should not drive home. And a given would be, do not serve guests who are visibly intoxicated.

You can also stop serving alcohol at least an hour before the party is scheduled to end. Stay alert and always remember your responsibilities as a host.

And in our area here in North Louisiana, be aware--and make sure your guests are aware--that during the month of December, every law enforcement group out there is working even harder than usual to spot impaired drivers and will have a number of DUI checkpoints operating almost on a daily basis.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Man snatches purse of 75 year old woman at Glenwood Hospital

    Man snatches purse of 75 year old woman at Glenwood Hospital

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:13:05 GMT
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A West Monroe man was arrest early Monday morning for snatching the purse of a victim over 65 years old.
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A West Monroe man was arrest early Monday morning for snatching the purse of a victim over 65 years old.
  • Black bear plays hide-and-seek in Winnsboro

    Black bear plays hide-and-seek in Winnsboro

    Sunday, August 31 2014 3:16 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:16:24 GMT
    WINNSBORO, La. (KNOE 8 News) - One KNOE viewer sent in some cute video of what looks to be a Louisiana Black Bear hanging out in a rice field.
    WINNSBORO, La. (KNOE 8 News) - One KNOE viewer sent in some cute video of what looks to be a Louisiana Black Bear hanging out in a rice field.
  • Woman sentenced in silicone injection case

    Woman sentenced in silicone injection case

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:57 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:57:05 GMT
    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi woman convicted of killing a Georgia woman through illicit silicone buttocks injections has been sentenced to life in prison.
    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi woman convicted of killing a Georgia woman through illicit silicone buttocks injections has been sentenced to life in prison.
  • Union Parish makes two DUI arrests over holiday weekend

    Union Parish makes two DUI arrests over holiday weekend

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:42:33 GMT
    UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News UPSO) - Union Parish sheriff's deputies made two driving while intoxicated arrests over the Labor Day weekend. James Daniel Autrey, 18, of Cherry Ridge Road, Farmerville, was booked on a total of 11 traffic violations.
    UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News UPSO) - Union Parish sheriff's deputies made two driving while intoxicated arrests over the Labor Day weekend. James Daniel Autrey, 18, of Cherry Ridge Road, Farmerville, was booked on a total of 11 traffic violations.
  • Man accused of stabbing his nephew

    Man accused of stabbing his nephew

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:10:07 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monroe Police have arrested a Monroe man for stabbing his nephew. Police say the Donald Ray Myles and victim got into an altercation Thursday night around 10:30. Police say Myles stabbed the victim with a steak knife, and then the victim was rushed to the hospital. 
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monroe Police have arrested a Monroe man for stabbing his nephew. Police say the Donald Ray Myles and victim got into an altercation Thursday night around 10:30. Police say Myles stabbed the victim with a steak knife, and then the victim was rushed to the hospital. 
  • Family: Joan Rivers on life support

    Family: Joan Rivers on life support

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:45 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:45:42 GMT
    NEW YORK (AP) - Joan Rivers' family is confirming that the comedian is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement Tuesday that her mother is on life support "at this time." Melissa said the family is extremely grateful for the public support. Joan Rivers was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan last Thursday. The 81-year-old comic and red carpet commentator has maintained a busy car...
    NEW YORK (AP) - Joan Rivers' family is confirming that the comedian is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement Tuesday that her mother is on life support "at this time." Melissa said the family is extremely grateful for the public support. Joan Rivers was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan last Thursday. The 81-year-old comic and red carpet commentator has maintained a busy car...
  • Second arrest made in April 2013 murder

    Second arrest made in April 2013 murder

    Saturday, August 30 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 19:00:56 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A second arrest has been made in the April 2013 murder of Steve Brown.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A second arrest has been made in the April 2013 murder of Steve Brown.
  • Two suspects wanted for armed robbery

    Two suspects wanted for armed robbery

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:07 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:07:03 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monroe police are looking for two suspects that robbed a Kangaroo convenient store. Police say two black males entered the store, located at 4320 Desaird Street, around 3:15 Friday morning. They say the suspects robbed the store at gun point and police were able to able to get a photo of one suspect. That suspect is described as a younger black male over six feet and it appears he is wearing a Neville sweatshirt. He is considered armed and dangerous. 
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monroe police are looking for two suspects that robbed a Kangaroo convenient store. Police say two black males entered the store, located at 4320 Desaird Street, around 3:15 Friday morning. They say the suspects robbed the store at gun point and police were able to able to get a photo of one suspect. That suspect is described as a younger black male over six feet and it appears he is wearing a Neville sweatshirt. He is considered armed and dangerous. 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.