The Maryland Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision which permits the finding of host and server liability in an unprecedented fashion. This case jointly decided two cases one involving a 17 year old Steven Dankos (“Steven”) who was killed while riding in the bed of a 22 year old intoxicated driver’s pickup truck. Steven’s mother sued Linda Stapf, the owner of a home where a party occurred which allowed both Steven and the driver to become intoxicated.
The other case was brought by a Manal Kiriakos (“Kiriakos”) who was injured by an intoxicated 18 year old after the 18 year old had been served alcohol by Brandon Phillips.
The Court of Appeals reversed dismissals of both cases.
In reaching these determinations, it said Steven, because he was a minor, could not be held solely responsible for his own injuries.
It further held that, a reasonable jury could conclude: (1) Kiriakos’s injuries were a result of the 18 year old’s drunk driving; (2) Phillips could have anticipated the 18 year old’s negligent act because both 18 year old’s substantial consumption of alcohol and the likelihood of his driving were apparent to Phillips; and (3) the accident occurred within an hour after 18 year old’s left Phillips’s house.