Social Host Liability for Underage Drinking?

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1st Apr 2020

Can an adult who is under the age of 21 potentially bear liability if he facilitates or encourages the consumption of alcohol in his residence by others who are under the age of 21? This week, attorney Mark Scirocco of our firm argued this very issue before the Supreme Court of New Jersey in the matter of the Estate of Brandon Narleski v. Nicholas Gomes, et al.

The case involves the death of a 19-year-old who was killed in an auto accident after he and a handful of others who were under the age of 21 consumed alcohol in the home of a friend. The Supreme Court will decide whether the host of the gathering may be held financially responsible for the injuries that resulted from the drinking and driving.

In 2019, this matter was already the subject of a published opinion by the New Jersey Appellate Division. You can read about the case here: https://www.law.com/njlawjournal/2019/10/18/court-to-examine-social-host-liability-for-underage-adults/.

A ruling from the Supreme Court is expected later in 2020.

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