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Social Host Liability in Canada and What Steps A Responsible Host Can Take to Limit the Risks Caused by Intoxicated Guests

A recent British Columbia Supreme Court decision provides new insight into host liability when intoxicated guests are injured, or injure another person, after leaving a party.

In McCormick V. Plambeck, 2020 BCSC 881, the Court found that event hosts Stephen and Lidia Pearson took reasonable measures to ensure the safety of the guests at their 16-year-old daughter’s party. Even so, two intoxicated minors consumed alcohol and cannabis prior to leaving the party, then stole and crashed a neighbour’s car. The crash fatally injured one of the occupants and seriously injured the other.

The survivor of the crash sued the Pearsons claiming they failed in their responsibility as event hosts to provide duty of care.

The video below offers analysis on the Court’s ruling, reflects on a host’s responsibility to ensure duty of care, and reviews what measures the Pearsons took to protect their guests that ultimately led the Court to find them not liable. 


brownlee llp, sam clark, litigation, civil litigation, social host liability