Lawsuit Against Foxborough Stadium Tests the Limits of Massachusetts' Social Host Law - Boston Criminal Defense Attorneys Parker Scheer

November 13, 2012
By Parker Scheer LLP on November 13, 2012 1:11 PM |

Debra Davis loved country music. So when the Country Music Festival came to Foxborough Stadium she and her friends couldn't wait to go. They didn't have tickets so they hung out in the stadium parking lot drinking alcohol. On the way home, Davis, whose blood alcohol level registered .20 and the driver, whose blood alcohol level registered .25, crashed into a tree and died.

Davis' family is now suing the Kraft Group which owns the Foxborough Stadium parking lot. According to the lawsuit, the Kraft Group had been told repeatedly by police that underage drinking and tailgating was a continual problem at the Festival.

Under Massachusetts' Social Host Law, "the estate of a patron who died in an
automobile accident after becoming intoxicated at a licensed establishment may maintain a wrongful death cause of action against such licensee. The plaintiff must prove willful, wanton or reckless conduct on the part of the licensee.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Judicial Court held that a husband and wife were not responsible for the injuries resulting from a drunk-driving related car crash since they did not furnish the liquor that was consumed when their teenage daughter hosted an underage drinking party in their home. Further, the court held that social hosts are only liable for injuries caused by the drunk driving of a guest IF they actually served or made the alcohol available. Julio v. Simpson. The Kraft Group alleges Julio exonerates them from a liability in the Davis matter, while the Davis family alleges Julio does not apply to commercial entities.

Summary judgment motions are pending.

"If you or a family member has been charged with criminal activity related to drunk driving, please contact Parker | Scheer LLP for a free consultation with one of our experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers."