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Drinking at company parties can be dangerous for Employers

By Thomas M Lee

An employer that hosts a company party where alcohol is served can be liable for the injuries a drunken employee causes. In a recent unpublished case, Purton v. Marriott International, an employee attended a company party, got drunk, and then drove home. After safely arriving at his home, he then drove another coworker home. During that drive, the employee hit another car and killed that driver. The Court held that the Employer was liable for the accident. According to the Court, it did not matter that the employee arrived safely at his home before driving.

Because the Employer served alcohol at a company party, and even allowed employees to bring their own alcohol, it was foreseeable that the employees would drive drunk after the party and cause injury to others.

Hence, the lesson for Employers is to be extra cautious at company parties when serving alcohol to their employees, or perhaps refrain from serving alcohol altogether.

Please note that the information I am providing here in this entry, or in my website is NOT to be construed as legal advice nor is it meant to form an attorney-client relationship. For a free legal consultation by phone, please call or email me anytime.

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