Sacramento Minors Involved In Deadly DUI Car Crash, Part 5 of 8

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

DeBolt v. Kragen Auto Supply, Inc. 182 Cal.App.3d 269 (1986) involved a host (Kragen Auto Supply) of a beach party who supplied and served a minor alcoholic beverages to the point where the minor became intoxicated and disorderly. Kragen ordered the minor to leave the party, but took no affirmative action to provide any alternative or safer means of transportation for her, so the minor drove her own car, ultimately plowing into a motorcycle killing two people. The Court of Appeal determined that Kragen was a social host and was immune from liability under Civ. Code Sec. 1714, B & P Code Secs.25602 and 25602.1. Kragen had no “special relationship” with any of the minors as did the Greenes in the present case.

Cory v. Shierloh, 29 Cal.3d 430 (1981), again a social host, furnished Plaintiff with alcoholic beverages, but the Court held that plaintiff’s injuries were the result of her own intoxication. This case is clearly distinguishable as Plaintiff’s injuries were not a result of his own intoxication but as a result of the Greenes breaching their duty of due care based upon their “special relationship” and allowing him to ride home with a drunk driver.

Chalup v. Aspen Mine Co. 175 Cal.App.3d 973 (1985), where an 18 year old became intoxicated in a restaurant and when she left she ran across the street against a traffic signal into the path of a car. The Defendant in this case was a licensed purveyor of alcohol, but the Court held that the injured minor who buys liquor while she is obviously intoxicated may state a cause of action under B & P Code Sec.25602.1. Again, this case is clearly distinguishable from the present case as the Greenes failed to protect Paul from riding home with a drunk driver, as was their duty of due care based upon their “special relationship” with him. It did not involve the sale of alcohol to Plaintiff.

None of the above cases cited by Defendants include special factors that would require the licensees of alcohol in Strong and Chalup, or the social hosts in Debolt and Cory or the security company in Elizarraras to save another from a danger which is not of his making (cf.Andrews v. Wells 204 Cal.App.3d 533,541(1988)) and can be distinguished based upon the special relationship the Greenes had with Paul.

Plaintiff’s TAC pleads numerous special factors showing that he had a special relationship with the Greenes, and the Greenes even characterize themselves as Plaintiff’s two most precious supporters in life. The Greenes cared for Paul as if he were their own child, he was dependent upon them for food, transportation and care. They assumed the responsibility for Paul’s well-being and protection and exercised control and supervision over him. Based upon the existence of this special relationship, Paul’s expectation was that the Greenes would be there for him, and he relied on that expectation. (See Part 6 of 8.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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