Having a Holiday party this month? Have you considered who will be liable in the case of food borne illness or someone driving home intoxicated? As Americans host and attend parties most are completely unaware of the risks. Anyone hosting a party must understand their responsibilities when inviting others and serving food and drinks.
Be aware that if someone ends up driving drunk or becoming sick after consuming food and/or at your party that you could actually be liable. A recent survey found that over 70% of homeowners served party food in their home prepared by someone other than themselves. Stated differently, more than 100 million homeowners in the United States have put themselves at risk for a lawsuit by just feeding their guests.
Watch What You Eat And Feed Others. Even if food the you serve was prepared by a caterer, another guest, a deli or even the neighborhood pizza parlor, you could be held liable if someone becomes ill from consuming it. Make sure that you check the food you are serving and don't put anything out that you suspect may be undercooked, spoiled or contaminated. Use only reputable food sources. Adhere to proper food-handling, heating/cooling and storage recommendations. Discard anything you aren't sure of.
Mix Activities, Not just Cocktails. If your party centers on drinking your guests will naturally consume more. Include activities that do not involve alcohol. Provide safe filling food for guests and alternative non-alcoholic beverages. Know who the designated drivers are ahead of time. This is where hiring a bartender that has the ability to monitor your guests is worth the money spent in most cases.
Party Elsewhere. Hosting your party at a restaurant or bar with a liquor license, rather in a home or office may decrease your liability. The expense will be higher and so will the relaxation factor.
Call a Cab or, Get a Room. Arrange transportation or overnight accommodations for those who cannot or should not drive home. Another attractive option is a ride sharing source like UBER or LYFT.
Just Say No. Never serve guests who are visibly intoxicated and it is a good idea to stop serving alcohol an hour or more before the party ends. Stay alert and remember your responsibilities as a host. Consider hiring a professional bouncer to discreetly monitor guests' sobriety or handle any alcohol-related problems as guests leave.
Do Your Homework. When you are the host it's worthwhile to review the liability portion of your homeowners or renters policy. This is what will protect you if you are sued and found liable for an accident involving a guest who drank or got sick after consuming food.
We help with serious issues that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth. We have over 70 years of experience on our legal team and we also have a former insurance company defense attorney in our plaintiff's only law firm. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We Can Help!