Calgary Lawyers Representing Clients in Social Host and Bar Liability Claims 

Individuals who host parties and serve alcohol in their homes, and establishments such as restaurants where alcohol is served, are responsible for ensuring that they do not overserve guests or patrons, are responsible for ensuring that guests who do drink to excess get home safely and do not drive, and are otherwise responsible for guests and/or customers on their premises.

If a guest who is intoxicated leaves the premises where alcohol is served, drives, and causes an accident, the host (whether a homeowner having a party, or a bartender serving drinks) can be liable for any injuries suffered as a result. Hosts can also be responsible for slips and falls, assaults, and other accidents, including pedestrian-related incidents.

Such claims can be complicated and raise a number of questions. Who are social hosts? The bar? The bartender? A home owner? What if someone’s teenage children have a party when the parents aren’t home?  What are the responsibilities of the host? When do their responsibilities begin? When do they end?

If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident or other accident and believe that a commercial or other host may be responsible, contact Cuming & Gillespie LLP. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help answer these questions and help you take legal action against the person or persons responsible for your injuries. 

Commercial Host Liability 

Commercial hosts (i.e. places that sell alcohol for profit, such as bars and restaurants) owe a duty of care to their customers who are likely to drive after drinking in their establishment. In the early 1990’s, the Supreme Court of Canada found that restaurants and bars could be liable to third parties who have been injured by drunk drivers who became intoxicated at their establishment.

This decision changed the landscape for injured parties. Depending on the nature of injuries resulting from an accident involving a drunk driver, sometimes the insurance of the drunk driver does not fully compensate the injured party for their losses. However, if the blame is shared between the driver and the establishment, the injured party may be able to get the compensation they need to recover and move on with life.  

Social Host Liability 

In another important decision, the Supreme Court of Canada defined social hosts as occupiers who are non-employer and non-commercial hosts. In other words, if you are hosting an event that is not work-related event and/or not serving alcohol for profit, you are likely a social host.

Social hosts in Canada do not necessarily have a “positive duty to act” or a legal obligation to physically stop or prevent their guests from driving after drinking in all instances. They also do not necessarily have an obligation to monitor the consumption of alcohol in every case. However, the Supreme Court made it clear that social host liability is highly fact-specific and that liability may in fact arise under certain circumstances.

If you think a host has been negligent in serving alcohol or hosting individuals at their home or other premises, and you have been injured as a result, contact Cuming & Gillespie LLP and we will review your case to see if you have a claim.

We Know What to Do If You Have Been Injured Due to Commercial or Social Host Negligence 

At Cuming & Gillespie LLP in Calgary, we have been representing injured clients for more than 20 years. During this time, we have won dozens of awards in Canada and around the world and we are consistently ranked as Leaders in Personal Injury on Lexpert.

With our significant experience, we know which parties to include in commercial host and social host claims to get the maximum compensation for your injuries. While drunk drivers should be held responsible for getting into a vehicle while intoxicated, the establishments that allow them to get to that point of intoxication should bear some responsibility and therefore part of the costs. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, and think an establishment or host failed to stop the driver from getting in the car, or you have been otherwise injured on someone else’s premises due to their negligence, call us at 403-571-0555 or contact us online to book an appointment today for a free consultation. We will review your file thoroughly and provide you with an honest assessment of your potential claim.