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Are Clients Responsible to Wedding Venue for Guests’ Behavior?

Question Originally Appearing on AVVO

Everyone went left….

“Who is liable for a wedding party booking at our hotel? Guests were very intoxicated and caused lots of problems.Who is liable for a wedding party booking at our hotel? Guests were very intoxicated and caused lots of problems. Hotel privately owned. Guests of the wedding stayed with us and had been served way too much alcohol. Other guests disrupted and requested their money back. Also this party threw furniture out of the pool and caused damage to a vehicle parked in our lot.”

Response (from Attorney Rob Schenk):

“Under the State’s Dram Shop Laws, an establishment serving alcohol to patrons already appearing intoxicated may be liable for the property damaged caused by such patrons’ subsequent actions. For example, the individual with the damaged car may potentially have a claim against your hotel if your staff served a drunk guest, and that particular guest smashed the car.

If this was a third-party vendor operating out of your hotel, I would highly suggest that you do not allow that particular vendor to serve at future functions. As the owner of the establishment, you have the ability to dictate the terms of the contract with regards to whom the wedding party may retain for the festivities taking place there. Clearly, to reduce your liability, you would only want “preferred vendors” that you can trust.”

Moral of the Story: Call the Cops when the partying gets out of hand. Or have some more drinks.

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