As the holiday season ramps up, office parties and social gatherings will dot calendars between now and the New Year. Because California is one of the most litigious states and almost anything these days can lead to a lawsuit, party hosts have to keep liability in mind along with all the other responsibilities that go along with holding a holiday party.
For instance, if you dress up your dog in a costume and it looks ridiculous, might a partygoer sue you on behalf of the pet? If someone doesn’t receive the gift they want in a white elephant gift exchange, might they sue because they didn’t get what they wanted?
While these examples are, of course, facetious, they are not too far off from some lawsuits that may come out of holiday parties in California this year. CALA encourages you and your party guests to take responsibility before a party, as no one wants a lawsuit served with their eggnog.
The following tips are holiday suggestions for keeping a lawsuit out of your stocking:
- For parties in your home, plan transportation for your guests, including designated drivers, cabs, or encouraging the use of Uber or Lyft for a safe ride home.
- Provide ample and appealing nonalcoholic beverages for your designated drivers and those who wish to not drink.
- For office parties, consider a bus or taxi service for your employees.
- Avoid providing a self-service bar, opting instead for a bartender well versed in identifying underage and intoxicated drinkers.
- Halt the flow of alcoholic beverages long before the party ends, so no one is tempted to drive drunk.
- If a guest does overindulge, help arrange transportation to take them home
These common sense ideas can prevent your holiday party from turning into a lawsuit trap. Stopping lawsuit abuse starts with each of us taking responsibility and using common sense.
On behalf of CALA, I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season.