‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? While the holidays are a time for fun and revelry, homeowners and business owners alike should be wary of potential legal landmines when hosting events at their homes or places of business.
Unfortunately, with even one small mishap, a festive gathering can turn into a legal nightmare. With this in mind, when holding holiday gatherings at your property, it is important to take safety and liabilities issues into account. How to Avoid Getting Sued
When hosting events, both home and business owners face thorny issues related to alcohol consumption and social hosting, as well as premises liability claims which can arise from slip and fall incident and other accidents such as falling objects, dog bites and much more.
Property owners owe varying responsibilities to people on their property, — depending on the legal category of the person involved — including: licensees, invitees and trespassers. The greatest duty is to those who are considered “invitees.” Slip and Fall” accidents are one of the most common forms of premises liability injury, and conditions that may lead to such accidents — such as wet floors, uneven steps or floors, falling objects or inadequate security – are often preventable. Property Owner Duties and Responsibilities
Another big concern during the holiday season is alcohol consumption. Serious legal issues arise when social hosts serve alcohol to intoxicated guests, especially if they cause injuries to themselves or others. Some states have enacted laws which hold party hosts liable for injuries caused by intoxicated guests. Host Liability Report
The laws of social hosting vary by state – with some states limiting this variety of liability to hosts who provide alcohol to minors.
With these issues in mind, experts recommend careful pre-party planning, offering some tips for holiday hosts/employers:
While there is no way to completely avoid risks, don’t let that prevent you from hosting a festive shindig. With foresight and careful planning, you can mitigate risks, minimize liability and help ensure that your friends or employees enjoy and fun and lively holiday gathering. Happy Holidays – and enjoy the season!