Court rules that ‘social host liability’ can extend into the workplace

The New Mexico Supreme Court held that a pharmaceutical company, whose representatives hosted a luncheon in which an employee of a doctor’s office became inebriated and then was involved in a motor vehicle accident in which a child was killed, is liable to the victim under social host liability.

Social host liability is defined by case law and finds a social host liable in civil actions in cases where alcohol was served to an obviously intoxicated person who then was involved in a motor vehicle accident in which a 3rd party was seriously injured o called.

Social host most often refers to a private individual who serves alcohol in a private setting. Dram shop liability refers to a bar or restaurant over-serving an individual.

In the case before the New Mexico high court, representatives from several pharmaceutical companies hosted a luncheon and paid for alcoholic beverages consumed by Alicia Gonzalez. When Gonzalez was subsequently in a car accident in which Gina Delfino’s son was killed, Delfino sued under the Liquor Liability Act (LLA).

The court ruled that social host liability is not limited to private settings and since the pharmaceutical defendants hosted the luncheon, paid for the alcoholic beverages and escorted Gonzalez to her car that they were in fact social hosts.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers and the family of those killed.

Citation: Delfino v. Griffo, 2011 WL 1772266 (N.M. Apr. 8, 2011).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Esteban A. Aguilar Sr. and Brian S. Colon, both of Albuquerque.

Related Posts:

Social host liability: are you liable if someone you served alcohol to gets into a car accident?

“Social host liability” laws and serving alcohol to minors

Family reaches settlement with Tacoma & Spanaway bars in fatal DUI car accident

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.