CALA: Dont' get served a lawsuit with your eggnog and mistletoe

The SE Texas Record Dec. 20, 2011, 4:16am

AUSTIN -With the holiday season in full swing, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse of Central Texas (CALA of Central Texas) cautions that this time of seasonal cheer can be dampened by the threat of lawsuits.

CALA of Central Texas urges party hosts to keep social host liability in mind as they plan celebrations that involve libations.

"'Tis the season for eggnog, bright lights and mistletoe, and, unfortunately, it's also lawsuit season," said Cliff Collier, chairman of the CALA of Central Texas Board of Directors. "You don't have to be Scrooge or the Grinch, but playing it smart and safe will help you avoid a lawsuit."

Whether in the home or at the office, holiday parties keep social calendars busy in December. Yet in our overly litigious society, and given that alcohol may be involved, CALA of Central Texas warns that the stakes are even higher that unfortunate lawsuits may be served.

The following tips are holiday host suggestions for keeping a lawsuit out of your stocking:

  • For parties in your home, plan transportation for your guests, including designated drivers or cabs for a safe ride home, and have ample and appealing nonalcoholic beverages for your designated drivers;
  • 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; and
  • Take action if a guest does overindulge, arranging for transportation home.

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