Fatal Conyers, Georgia Shooting: Liability of Sponsors Hosts of Out of Control Teenage Parties in Georgia


November 22, 2010

A raucous house party in Conyers led to the tragic shooting of an 18-year-old a week ago. Two other teenagers that were attending the party were also shot. The party got so out of control that the police were summoned for a noise complaint before they had to come back out for the shooting. Another party in Douglas County also led to a participant being stomped to death. As house parties, rave parties and other parties attended by teenagers, who are often under the influence of drugs or alcohol, lead to more deaths and serious injuries, it becomes even more important that parents are vigilant in knowing where their teenagers are so that they avoid these dangerous parties.

The host and sponsors of such parties can be liable for the injuries suffered by teenagers who attend the parties where the host or sponsor fails to provide a safe venue, adequate security or supervision or fails to warn of unsafe conditions on the premises. The host and sponsor may also be liable if teenagers leaving the party were provided with drugs or alcohol and injure or kill another motorist in an auto accident. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those injured or killed by careless or intentional conduct throughout Georgia for over 25 years.

Liability for criminal acts of third parties is not automatic and usually depends on the forseeability of the criminal conduct. It may also depend on the precautions taken by the host to make the premises safe. An experienced Georgia personal injury attorney will carefully investigate the conduct of the party sponsor to determine if the sponsor should have been aware of the risk of a violent assault at the party. The Conyers party included a number of gang members who were involved in the altercation. If the sponsor of the party invited the gang members, the resulting violence may have been reasonably foreseeable. A court, in assessing whether to impose liability for the violent assault of a third party, will have to look closely at the specific facts and the measures taken to make the premises safe for those who attended the party.

House and rave parties also mean that a significant number of teenagers will be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they leave the party. Georgia's Dram Shop Law imposes liability on a host at a party who serves a teenager knowing the teenager is underage. Teenage accidents disproportionately involve alcohol and lead to serious injuries and fatalities. The sponsors or hosts of these large parties are not only aware that underage teenagers are using alcohol or drugs and driving, but often supply the illicit substances. The Dram Shop Law is designed to protect innocent, unsuspecting motorists from auto accidents with drivers whose driving ability is impaired by drugs or alcohol.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those injured in Georgia for over 25 years. If you or your loved one is injured or killed because a party gets out of control or a driver irresponsibly drinks and drives, our Georgia Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.