Court: Adults who host underage drinking party can be liable

By:  Associated Press
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Maryland’s top court has ruled that adults who host underage drinking parties can be held civilly liable for injuries caused by a drunk guest.

The Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Tuesday in two lawsuits brought by victims of drunken driving incidents brought against adults who hosted parties that led to the underage guest becoming drunk.

The ruling is the first time the Court of Appeals has recognized the potential liability of party hosts for the alcohol-related harm caused by their guests under the drinking age of 21.

One lawsuit was brought by Nancy Dankos, whose 17-year-old son Steven was killed in 2009 in a truck crash while getting a ride home from a party at which he had consumed alcohol.