Who is liable for a wedding party booking at our hotel? Guests were very intoxicated and caused lots of problems.

Asked about 1 year ago - Dahlonega, GA

Hotel privately owned. Guests of the wedding stayed with us and had been served way too much alcohol. Other guests disrupted and requested their money back. Also this party threw furniture out of the pool and caused damage to a vehicle parked in our lot.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. William Emil Cassara

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am not sure I understand your question, but the reality is that no matter what any of us say, it will eventually be up to a judge or jury to decide who pays unless you can resolve it. So you will need to contact local counsel and lay out all the facts in front of them and follow their advice.

    This post is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney... more
  2. Robert Lewis Schenk II

    Contributor Level 9

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I concur with my colleagues above.

    Under the State's Dram Shop Laws, an establishment serving alcohol to patrons already appearing intoxicated may be liable for the property damaged caused by such patrons' subsequent actions. For example, the individual with the damaged car may potentially have a claim against your hotel if your staff served a drunk guest, and that particular guest smashed the car.

    If this was a third-party vendor operating out of your hotel, I would highly suggest that you do not allow that particular vendor to serve at future functions. As the owner of the establishment, you have the ability to dictate the terms of the contract with regards to whom the wedding party may retain for the festivities taking place there. Clearly, to reduce your liability, you would only want "preferred vendors" that you can trust.

    Mr. Schenk may be reached at (678) 823-7678 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at rob@schenkfirm.... more
  3. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Dram shop civil liability can occur when establishments licensed to serve alcohol serve already intoxicated adults or minors, but I don't see a specific claim here. This is posted under 'criminal defense' and so I urge you to take your concerns to a defense attorney. Guests wanting their money back? I don't think so. The hotel has a claim against people who broke furniture. Hopefully, the person whose car was damaged has insurance, otherwise they'll need to go after whoever booked the party, who should identify the furniture thrower.

    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only.... more
  4. James Lawrence Yeargan Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unless you signed something in the contract with the hotel saying you were responsible for the guests I don't see any liability for you as long as the intoxicated guests were 21 years old or older.

    James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on... more
  5. James Donald Garrett

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Generally, a person or business cannot be held responsible for the criminal acts of others. As has been mentioned, Dram shop civil liability may exist if the establishment served alcohol to intoxicated individuals. Contact a local attorney to discuss you facts in more detail.

    I am licensed to practice law in VA, not your state. As such, I may be unaware of certain state laws; therefore, my response may be wrong or irrelevant. Please use my response for informational purposes only and contact a local attorney for legal advice.

    Good luck.

    Be sure to mark the "Best Answer" or Helpful" to your questions. Attorneys on AVVO donate their time and your feedback is appreciated.

    James Garrett
    Garrett Law Group, PLC
    http://www.garrettlawgroup.com
    jd@garrettlawgroup.com
    (757) 422-4646

    Responding to questions on AVVO does not establish an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and any... more

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