The law has a certain affinity for its own history. That’s why – instead of calling this area of law tavern liability or bar liability – the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has chosen to pay homage to the English roots of US Laws by referring to drinking establishments and liability they may encounter for the conduct of their drunken patrons, as dram shop liability
In Pennsylvania, a licensed individual or establishment that serves alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons can be held responsible for injuries and damages those persons inflict and/or suffer. Most people have heard this in relation to drunk-driving accidents. And while dram-shop liability certainly applies to drunk-driving accidents, it also applies to incidents you may not have considered. For instance, if an individual is over-served and is harmed and/or harms an individual in a fight, there may be liability. Similarly, if an individual fall or otherwise becomes seriously injured as a result of being over-served, there may be liability. It is imperative for businesses to err on the side of caution when considering whether or not to serve an intoxicated person further.
It’s important to note that PA Businesses are not the only parties exposed to liability. While Pennsylvania does not generally recognize “Social Host” liability – that is liability similar to a licensed drinking establishment for someone who simply hosted a party, a social host can be liable when he or she knowingly furnishes alcohol to minor who cause injuries as a result of their drunkenness.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, we can help. Proving Dram Shop liability is a complicated and time-intensive matter. The attorneys at Roland Stock have years of litigation experience and extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania Dram-Shop laws. Please call us today for a free consultation.