Dan Gilleon, a personal injury attorney in San Diego, recently appeared on ABC 10 News to discuss a case in which a fight at a party that included underage drinking led to the blinding of one minor child.
The party occurred while the homeowners were absent and featured alcohol, even though most or all of the attendees were underage. A fight broke out between two of the teens at the party, and one group was asked to leave. The police were later called to the home on a noise complaint, and the victim, Austin Guidry-Lair, who had been involved in the earlier alteraction, says that he was running down the driveway when he heard his name. He turned and one of the teens threw a glass bottle at him, striking him in the left eye. Guidry-Lair was taken to a hospital but has now lost sight in that eye. He and his parents are suing the homeowners, the 18-year-old host of the party and the teen who threw the bottle.
The victim claims that this is not the first time that the parents have allowed parties where alcohol was consumed. He says that their primary concern was that teens not drink and drive.
Dan Gilleon, who represents the injured victim, explains that even though the parents are not facing “social host” charges by the police, they can still be legally liable for the victim’s damages.
“Parents are going to be at fault if you knew or should have known what was going on,” says Gilleon. “They set an example that said ‘Go ahead and use our house as a party location,’ and that is against the law.”
There is a difference between criminal activity and civil liability, although criminal actions can lead to a party being held liable for damages. In this case, the parents’ actions in allowing their child to drink alcohol and to invite other underage teens over to do the same may have led to them being responsible for the actions of those at the party, even if they were not there at the time.
Dan Gilleon is a San Diego personal injury attorney who represents the interests of those who have been injured in various types of accidents. He stands up for the rights of victims and helps them recover compensation for their injuries.