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Would you sue in these circumstances?

February 20, 2008

Debenture holders at the Millennium Stadium were given an offer recently of a place in a hospitality suite for the forthcoming revenge match against the Italians. I checked with my son if he was interested and the response went along the lines of Yes if I can have a beer. Now he is 16 so I know he can’t buy it, but he has been allowed the odd glass a home for some time so I checked up on the law and (I think) he can so I will attempt to book a place. In the course of the investigation I came across this example of the absurdity of social responsibility which I share, with horror:

In early 1998, a pub regular brought his son in for a birthday drink, the son then decided to match his father’s drinking. Naturally he couldn’t and started to look a bit ill. The staff propped him up on a seat in the corner and he promptly fell asleep. A while later when the father decided to go home, he tried to wake his son up and couldn’t. He had died of alcohol poisoning. A tragic story and a senseless waste of a young life. What was even more senseless, though, was that the family of the boy took the staff of the pub to court for manslaughter. Their argument was that the staff served the drinks and were therefore responsible for the boy’s death. The staff argued that the father kept ordering the drinks for his son and he should have stopped his own son drinking. The family won the case because any member of bar staff in England is responsible for a customer in their pub. It’s actually illegal to serve beer, or indeed any alcohol, to someone that you think might be drunk.

Source here

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