It was reasonably foreseeable to tavern that patrons would arrive and leave in motor vehicles

Torts - Negligence – Occupiers’ Liability

Defendant P and plaintiff W met with friends to watch hockey game and consumed one or two bottles of beer before going with friends to defendant tavern. At tavern, group purchased four or more trays of 12 beers for $12 special, and P believed he drank six or seven cups of beer. P drove group home and then drove to store with W and another friend and on way home from store P was speeding and failed to stop at stop sign, and vehicle left roadway and hit tree. W, who was not wearing seatbelt, suffered serious injuries including skull fracture. At time group left tavern P had blood alcohol level of between 220 and 240 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitires of blood. Plaintiffs brought action for damages for injuries sustained in motor vehicle collision. Action allowed. Tavern owed duty of care to W under common law and s. 39 of Liquor Licence Act (Ont.). It was reasonably foreseeable to tavern and its employees that patrons would arrive and leave in motor vehicles. P was served to point of intoxication and was exhibiting signs of impairment when group left, and Tavern did not have policy in place to guard against risk of intoxicated patron operating motor vehicle after leaving bar and its employees failed to fulfil obligations under Smart Serve. Tavern breached duty of care to W. Liability of tavern did not end when P and W arrived back at residence. Liability apportioned 80 per cent to P and 20 per cent to tavern. Tavern was 20 per cent liable for overserving W.

Hummel v. Jantzi (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 9498, 2019 ONSC 3571, G.E. Taylor J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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