Posts Tagged ‘ commercial establishment liability

Commercial Host Liability: Would You Like a Cab With That?



Commercial establishments in the business of serving alcohol must be aware of the legal responsibilities expected of them towards their patrons under the eyes of the law. For example, if a clearly drunken patron ends up leaving a bar after a wild night of binge drinking before getting into his/her car and attempting to drive home and violently crashes into a pole, the bar would likely bear a degree of liability for the damages suffered by the drunken patron.

However, over the last 20 years, the courts have further expanded the responsibilities of commercial hosts to include owing a special duty not only to their own patrons, but also to third party users of the road who may become seriously injured or killed as a result of conduct committed by their patrons. This expansion was established in the 1995 Supreme Court of Canada decision of Stewart v. Pettie. In other words, as a commercial host, you can also be on the hook for damages suffered by third parties who were not even present at your establishment so long as their injuries or death were caused by the negligence of an intoxicated patron who had been at your establishment. Read more

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