Monday, January 16, 2023

Court Finds That Plaintiff Stated Valid Cause of Action For Negligence Against Adults For Serving Alcohol To Minor in a Fatality Case

In the case of Sheik v. Morgan, No. 10244 of 2022 C.A. (C.P. Lawr. Co. Nov. 30, 2022 Motto, P.J.), the court overruled a Defendant’s Preliminary Objections in part in a case in which the Plaintiffs allege negligence against adult Defendants for allowing or encouraging underage drinking in their homes.

According to the Opinion, the case arose out of an event during which the Plaintiff’s child spent the night at a friend’s house at which she was allegedly allowed to consume alcohol at that home and two (2) other homes that were visited during the course of the evening.  While the minor was at one of the residences, the minor, in an allegedly intoxicated state, allegedly attempted to take steps leading from a garage to a basement when she allegedly fell and allegedly suffered injuries to her head. The minor tragically died from her injuries approximately six (6) days later.

The court found that the facts alleged in the Plaintiff’s Complaint were sufficient to establish a legally cognizable claim for negligence as adults owe a duty of care to minor guests in their home and the adults in this matter allegedly breached that duty by serving alcoholic beverages to minors in any event.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision, which provides a thorough overview of the current status of the law relative to the service of alcohol by adults to minors, may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Jan. 10, 2023).


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