Parents Not Liable for Teen Drinking Party: Court

Court says parents can't be sued for a fatal drunken driving accident after a drinking party held at their suburban home

By Jennifer Schwarz
|  Friday, May 20, 2011  |  Updated 8:57 AM CDT
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Parents Not Liable for Teen Drinking Party: Court

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The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday to block a lawsuit seeking to hold a suburban Chicago couple liable for a deadly drunken driving accident after a teen drinking party held at their home.

Daniel Bell, 18, died after crashing his car into a tree after leaving the party. His family is suing the Hutsells for allowing the party.
Jeffrey and Sarah Hutsell claim they allowed the party at their Deerfield home, but told the teens they were not allowed to drink.
 
The court ruled they are not liable for the accident because the couple didn’t promise other parents there wouldn’t be alcohol at the party, and didn’t make an active effort to prevent the kids from drinking.
 
Such efforts could have opened the Hutsells to claims that their actions were faulty.
 

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