Holiday parties are a popular way for employers to “rally the troops” and boost morale at a time of year when, quite frankly, few people want to be at work. However, over recent years, holiday parties have been the focus of much scrutiny, as concerns about sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and the over-serving of alcohol have come to light. Indeed, there is a noticeable increase in the number of Massachusetts drunk driving accidents during the holiday months, and this is in part due to people getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink at a work holiday party.
Under the Massachusetts dram shop and social host laws, employers often have a legal obligation to ensure that they do not over-serve employees at a work holiday party. If the holiday party is held at a restaurant, country club, or bar, that duty will also extend to the business hosting the event. While establishing liability in a Boston dram shop case can be difficult, it is possible with the help of an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer.
Establishing liability against a social host is slightly different than doing so against a restaurant or bar. Typically, the threshold is lower to prove that a bar or restaurant negligently served or over-served alcohol to a patron. However, if there is evidence showing that a social host knew a guest was intoxicated, but served them alcohol anyway, the host may be liable for any damages that stem from the decision to serve that individual.
Towards the end of last year, a 13-year-old girl was killed in a Massachusetts DUI accident that occurred after the at-fault driver left a holiday party. According to a local news report, the girl was riding in a car with her friend that was being driven by her mother. As the three approached the intersection of Church and Union streets in Pembroke, a pick-up truck ran a red light, colliding with their SUV.
The two teenage girls were taken to Boston Children’s Hospital, where one of then tragically passed away from the injuries she sustained in the collision. The at-fault driver explained to the police that he was coming home from a company work party that was held at his boss’s home. He went on to tell police that he had consumed beer and whiskey, and used cocaine at the party. The man was driving a company pick-up truck when the accident occurred, in which police found a partially consumed bottle of whiskey.
Have You Been Injured in a Massachusetts Drunk Driving Accident?
If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a Massachusetts DUI accident, contact the dedicated injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates P.C. with extensive experience handling all types of injury claims. To learn more about how Attorney Feinstein can help you pursue a claim for compensation for the injuries you have sustained, call 800-262-9200 to schedule a free consultation today.