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Doug Gansler

Maryland parents who host parties where teens get drunk now face civil suits

Maryland parents who host parties where teens get drunk now face civil suits

So-called "cool parents" who knowingly let teens host boozy parties at their homes now run the risk of being sued if an underage drinker gets hurt or hurts someone else, Maryland's highest court ruled Tuesday.

The Court of Appeals has generally been reluctant to hold third parties such as bar owners responsible for the actions of drunken people, but said in Tuesday's opinion that the law ought to be different when children are involved.

"Underage persons are not solely responsible for drinking alcohol on an adult's property because they are not competent to handle the effects of this potentially dangerous substance," Judge Sally D. Adkins wrote for the...

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