HOMEOWNER RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURIES AND DAMAGE AFTER ALLOWING UNDERAGE DRINKING
If a homeowner allows minors to drink on their property, the homeowner can be held responsible and can be sued if the underage drinker injures someone or causes damage to property. This is called Social Host Liability and it is the law in Minnesota. In fact, the drinking does not even have to occur at someone’s home. If a person over the age of 21 has control of any premises, e.g. rents a party room or ropes off an area in a park, and knowingly or recklessly allows a minor to consume alcohol after being in a reasonable position to prevent it, the person over 21 is responsible for any injury or damage and can be sued because of it. The same is true if the person over 21 gives alcohol to a minor or helps the minor purchase it.
If the intoxicated minor causes an accident, the homeowner or responsible adult is liable for the injury and damage if the victim can prove that the homeowner or adult caused the intoxication, i.e. by failing to stop it when they reasonably could have. Also, the injuries and damage do not have to be caused by an accident. For example if the underage drinker assaults someone, the homeowner or provider of the alcohol is still responsible and can be sued. Fortunately, most homeowners insurance policies in MN will cover these types of claims (although not in the case of an assault if the person doing the assault is your child.)
If you are the parent of teenage children, then you are already concerned about alcohol and drug use. But you should also be vigilant when your teenagers bring friends over to your home — i.e. to make sure that there is no drinking going on.
If you are injured in a car accident or some other way in MN because of an intoxicated minor, please call us and speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. We will investigate the case and advise you of your rights against the teenager and their insurance, as well as anyone who served them. Our attorneys will make sure you are fairly and fully compensated for medical bills, lost wages, future losses, and pain and suffering.