Articles Posted in Dram Shop and Intoxicated Drivers

The estate of an Indiana man who died following a fistfight at a house party won a partial victory before the Indiana Supreme Court recently, paving the way for at least one wrongful death claim to proceed to trial. keg

In Rogers v. Martin, the plaintiff alleged the defendant, who co-hosted a house party at which alcohol was served, breached her landowner-invitee duty to exercise reasonable care to protect those on her property and also violated the state’s Dram Shop Act, resulting in harm to another person.

This case highlights the duty of care party hosts owe to their guests, which is an important consideration especially as we’re nearing the holidays, when there tends to be an increase in large gatherings.

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A few years back, I wrote a blog article entitled Negligent Party Hosts in Indiana May Face Liability. The article provided some general rules and suggestions concerning possible liability issues for people who have parties during the holiday season.

A recent Indiana decision, F. John Rogers, as Personal Representative of Paul Michalik, Deceased, and R. David Boyer, Trustee of the Bankruptcy Estate of Jerry Lee Chambers v. Angela Martin and Brian Paul Brothers, 02A05-1506-CT 520 increases the potential for liability and the responsibilities for a party host.

In that case, the land possessors, defendants Martin and Brothers shared a residence.  They threw a party and alcohol was purchased using funds from a joint bank account.  Jerry Lee Chambers was a guest at the party.