Pretend that, even though it violates the current statewide burn ban and possibly a municipal law, you go to a 4th of July party where people are setting off fireworks. You see Roman candles, bottle rockets and what appears to be an M-80. Imagine, then, a fragment from an exploding firework pierces and permanently injures your left eye. Can you sue the host for not preventing the injury?
According to precedent, no. This same situation occurred in Massachusetts in the late 90s. The injured man sued the host and the jury ruled in favor of the host. Since the host did not furnish the fireworks, he was not liable for injuries caused by other guests.
“Their status as social hosts carried with it neither the means, nor the legal obligation, to supervise or prevent the discharge of fireworks by others,” the judgment in Luoni v. Berube says.
However, this does not necessarily preclude a lawsuit against the host if someone is injured at a party involving alcohol. Colorado social host laws indicate that the host can be liable if he or she “[gives] away intoxicating liquors to any habitual drunkard,” and that “drunkard” causes a firework burn injury.
The best bet for anyone hosting a party on or around July 4th is to make sure all the guests know that fireworks are strictly prohibited. If you were injured at a party that involved fireworks, however, you may be able to seek justice for your injuries. Call us today for free to discuss your options.
The Metier Law Firm, LLC – Denver accident lawyers