Dram Shop & Social Host Liability Cases

Several states have enacted laws that allow a person injured by an intoxicated individual to hold the business that sold or served the alcohol liable for damages. Some states also allow injured people to hold a social host responsible if alcohol is served at the host’s private social event.

Kentucky’s dram shop law allows claims against vendors in some situations, however it has only limited social host liability for situations involving alcohol being served to minors.

The Kentucky statute states that the consumption of intoxicating beverages, rather than the serving, furnishing, or sale of such beverages, is the cause of any injury, including death and property damage, inflicted by an intoxicated person upon himself or another person.

Therefore, businesses or employees of the business who sells or serves intoxicating beverages to a person of legal drinking age, are not liable for any injury suffered off the premises. This includes, but is not limited to wrongful death and property damage due to the intoxication of the person to whom the beverages were sold or served – unless a reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances should know that the person served is already intoxicated at the time of serving.

In circumstances where the injured person cannot prove the business / employees were aware of the intoxication, the intoxicated person is primarily liable with respect to injuries suffered by third persons.

Winton and Hiestand are well versed in Dram Shop and Social Host Liability statues. If you or a loved one have been injured by an intoxicated person, we can help you determine the best course of action for your situation. Contact us to schedule a FREE initial consultation.