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Ottawa personal injury lawyers discuss host liability.

Our Ottawa injury lawyers share what you need to know for the upcoming holiday season. barliability

It’s that time of year again, house parties and office parties. People want to get together. It’s a wonderfully festive time. You may be attending your office party, ringing in the new year with friends or just getting together with family.  Many of these types of parties often involve alcohol consumption. Here are a few things our Ottawa personal injury lawyers believe you should know:

Hosting the party: Social Host Liability

If you plan on being the host, it’s important that you take some very important precautions.  It’s always best to hire a third party if possible.  Hiring a catering company or bartending company, allows the host to circulate freely with their guests and not worry as much about monitoring guests alcohol levels and consumption. As a host, you may also be indulging in alcohol and if you are the one responsible for monitoring people’s intake, your judgment may be impaired. This is not safe.  A bartender is trained to to recognize people who may have had too much to drink. It goes without saying that if you are hosting a party, you want your guests to have fun, while at the same time, are safe and free from injury.

Third Party: Commercial Host Liability

Commercial host liability differs from both social host (you) and employer liability (work functions). The Liquor Licence Act and its regulations have detailed statutory requirements that drinking establishments must comply with when they are serving alcohol. This is not to say that the drinking establishment that overserves will be held 100% responsible. In many cases, the courts will determine the percentage of liability.

Work parties: Employer Liability

There is an onus on employers to ensure their staff’s safety. It’s important for employers to not only provide a safe party environment but also ensure that any staff leaving their party who they believe may be intoxicated, does not drive. Employers can provide taxi chits, arrange drives etc…Employers can be held liable when their employees leave a work party intoxicated and subsequently becomes injured. As an employer, our personal injury lawyers recommend that employers provide taxi chits, host their parties at a third party location, offer non-alcoholic beverages as an option.

Our Ottawa injury team wishes you a safe and happy holiday season. Enjoy your time with friends and loved ones and please drink responsibly.


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