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Calif. might alter liability in liquor-linked cases

Published On: Feb 18 2014 12:36:18 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 18 2014 12:30:00 AM CST
Generic: Court Gavel
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

California's highest court is considering a case that could crack a legal shield that has long protected party hosts in the state from certain alcohol-related lawsuits.

At issue is who is responsible if a young person organizes an underage drinking party and charges for admission, and then a drunken guest is hurt or injures someone else.

In the 1970s, the California Supreme Court made social hosts who serve alcohol to intoxicated guests liable for their harmful behavior.

The Legislature responded by creating immunity for social hosts - but later carved out an exception for individuals who sell alcohol, whether they are licensed or not.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that the high court is considering a case involving a 2007 party that could shift those rules.