Can I be legally liable for injury to a person that passed out and is now in the hospital at my underage friend’s party?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2012

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Can I be legally liable for injury to a person that passed out and is now in the hospital at my underage friend’s party?

My friend decided to have a party when he found out his parents were not going to be home. He needed some help to set up, so he asked me and my other friends to set up beforehand. When the party started, a kid came to the party and was already really drunk and didn’t even drink at the party. He eventually ended up in the hospital, and no one knows if he’s okay or not. Since my friends and I helped set up the party, would that make us legally liable for this kid if some threatening injury happens to him? Can we get charged with anything?

Asked on August 25, 2012 under Criminal Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written about, you and others used "poor judgment" with the use of alcohol where some person ended up hospitalized who attended your "event". Possibly you could be charged with numerous criminal offenses such as illegally providing alcohol to a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and the like.

There is also the possibility of a civil lawsuit against you and others. I suggest that you speak with your parents about what happened and consult with a criminal defense attorney as a form of "damage control".

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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