Lawsuit Targets Adults Who Hosted Fatal Teen Party

An article in The Tampa Tribune recently reported on the cost of a teen drinking party hosted by adults. On June 25, 2010, a Tampa couple, who lives in Dade City in Hillsborough County, allowed their 18-year-old son to host a drinking party for about 90 kids on a piece of property they own.

The Florida Highway Patrol report says two teenage girls, one 18 and the other 15, left the party around 2 a.m. in a 2002 Chevy Cavalier. The 18-year-old driver lost control of the car on Wire Road and hit a tree killing the 15-year-old passenger.

The deceased girl’s estate filed a lawsuit October 10 on behalf of the young teen’s 18-month-old son. The lawsuit was filed against the adult parents of the boy who hosted the party because the five acre property belonged to them.

The teen driver survived the Florida drunk driving accident. At the time of the crash she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 percent. The legal level for intoxication is 0.08, meaning she was nearly twice the level considered intoxicated.

A Stetson University law professor told The Tampa Tribune that the lawsuit presents a strong civil and criminal case against the parents because minors should never be served alcohol. Even if the parents were not present at the party, it could still be argued they were in “control” of the residence.

The teen driver has pleaded no-contest to DUI manslaughter and will spend 11 months in a Land O’ Lakes jail, four years probation, and one year of house arrest. In addition, she loses her driver’s license for life. The teenage boy who hosted the party pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of hosting an open house party and had to pay court costs.

The Hillsborough County personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah law firm suggest that any parent who believes it is a good idea to allow alcohol be served to anyone under the age of 21 in their home or property should think again. It could cost a life and almost everything you ever worked for.