Oregon Case Law Update: Plaintiff Who Voluntarily Consumed Alcohol May Sue Social Host. The Effect On Business Unclear

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Oregon Case Law Update: Plaintiff Who Voluntarily Consumed Alcohol May Sue Social Host. The Effect On Business Unclear

From the desk of Jeff Eberhard: In 2001, Oregon passed a law that prevented customers and social guests that voluntarily consumed alcohol from asserting a claim against those who provided them with alcohol. In a case involving a social host, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that this statute was in violation of the remedy clause of Oregon’s Constitution. This approach is a radical new change which we expect to be appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court.

Claims Pointer: In this case arising out of a severely injured intoxicated driver, the Oregon Court of Appeals considered whether Oregon’s Dram Shop statute prohibited a driver from suing a social host for injuries she suffered in the car accident.  The Court of Appeals ultimately held that the statute prohibiting voluntarily intoxicated individuals from bringing a claim against the person who provided alcohol was in violation of the remedy clause of Oregon’s Constitution.  Given the significance of this issue, the court’s analysis was shockingly brief in length and citation of law to support it.

Our firm specializes in the defense of liquor liability claims.  We prepared a white paper that identifies how Oregon’s liquor liability statute can be used to defeat or reduce the risk of a plaintiff’s claim.  Please contact us if you would like a copy.

Schutz v. La Costita III, Inc., 288 Or App 476 (2017)

Ashley Schutz “(Schutz”) worked as a temporary office assistant for O’Brien Constructors, LLC.  After declining numerous invitations to join her supervisor and fellow employees for drinks, Schutz agreed to join.  Schutz alleged that she was reluctant to join but felt pressured in order to advance her job.  Keeley O’Brien, the supervisor of O’Brien Constructors, LLC, Schutz, and other employees left work early that day and headed over to a nearby restaurant, La Costita,...

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