Saturday, October 30, 2021

Smart Safety: Protect Yourself from Liability Issues When Hosting Parties


“Halloween is a popular time for fog machines, dark hallways with creepy music, or crazy strobe lights,” says Michael Mandell, founder of Mandell Law and the Number One attorney on social media. “These decorations make for a festive Halloween party but are also a great way for someone to get hurt while celebrating the popular, spooky holiday.”

Even if you're not hosting a party this weekend for Halloween, this advice can be applied to just about any party you might host!

  1. Why is it important for people hosting a Halloween party to be aware of legal liability issues?

People who host Halloween parties, or any parties for that matter, are at risk of being held liable for any accidents that occur on their property. People who invite others onto their property owe their guests a duty of care to ensure their safety. This is called premise liability, which means if a visitor is injured on someone's property, and the property owner is found to be at fault, then the property owner is liable for that injury.

  1. What are some common incidents that may occur that can spark a liability claim?

Alcohol-related liability issues are common at Halloween parties. If the party includes the consumption of alcohol, the party’s host may be held liable for any accidents that occur to a third party by one of the party guests. A party host should never allow an intoxicated guest to consume more alcohol. They should order intoxicated guests a cab or driving service to prevent them from driving home under the influence. In addition, hosts should never provide minors with alcohol or knowingly allow others at the party to provide alcohol to minors. Otherwise, the host may be liable.

  1. What should people avoid to prevent slip or fall lawsuits?

To avoid slip-and-fall lawsuits as a Halloween party host, make sure there are no obvious obstacles in common walking paths in your property. People should keep their yards and walkways well-lit. Remove any tripping hazards such as extension cords. Put away children’s toys and move any Halloween decorations away from walking paths to avoid any accidental falls. Additionally, avoid the use of fog machines or dry ice that may compromise the visitor’s sight when walking on the property.

  1. How does liability differ if the party is hosted in someone's own place or a rented facility?

Typically, if the party host owns the home, then they can be held liable for any accidents. One of the following conditions must have occurred for the homeowner to be held liable: the owner caused or created the dangerous conditions; the owner must have known about the dangerous condition but failed to fix it; or the owner should have known about the dangerous condition.

If the party host is renting, then the liability will likely fall on the landlord. I recommend reading lease agreements for any specific language that addresses premise liability or ask the landlord for clarification. Regardless, if an accident does occur, seek medical attention as soon as possible to help the injured person.

Michael L. Mandell is the #1 lawyer on social media with over 6 million followers due to the popularity of his legal tips and entertaining posts. Mandell is an attorney based out of Los Angeles, California with an undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and a law degree from Duke University which was recently ranked the top law school on the planet. In addition to his successful following, Mandell practices in a variety of legal areas, specifically in personal injury and criminal law. Mandell has concentrated his talents on redefining the justice process and propelling his profession into the 21st century. Michael and his team at Mandell Law rely on a bespoke, people-first approach to maximize award outcome success and client satisfaction.

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