Alcohol may certainly contribute to making a poor decision. Although folks are ultimately responsible for the decisions they make while under the influence of alcohol, there are some circumstances in which adults might be held liable for the dangerous actions of intoxicated teens if it is discovered that an adult knowingly provided alcohol to a minor.
Sadly, one North Carolina mother knows all too well how teen drinking can result in poor decisions with deadly consequences. The woman's daughter was killed after attending a graduation party at a friend's house where minors had been drinking. According to the mother's wrongful death lawsuit, the alcohol had been provided by one of the teen's parents. The mother claims that had the teens not been drinking at the party, her daughter would still be alive today.
On August 6, 2010, the woman's daughter attended a graduation party at a friend's house. According to the lawsuit, there were coolers of beer and alcoholic beverages that minors had access to at the party. During the party, several teens became verbally abusive while drinking, the lawsuit states, and one teen even threw a paving stone at a moving vehicle.
The stone struck the vehicle, but it also struck the woman's daughter who was a passenger in the moving car. According to the lawsuit, the woman's daughter was leaving the party when the stone went through the windshield of the vehicle she was riding in and struck her. The stone lacerated the teen's liver and she died from internal bleeding the next day.
The mother is seeking damages for her daughter's tragic death. Her lawsuit claims that the teens were negligent and that their reckless actions contributed to the fatal accident. Her lawsuit also claims that the mother and son who provided alcohol to the teens at the party are responsible for her daughter's death as well. Had the teens never had access to the alcohol, the fatal accident could have been avoided.
According to recent reports, the North Carolina woman has reached settlements with most of the defendants. However, she has yet to reach a settlement with the teen who threw the stone that killed her daughter. A settlement has also yet to be reached with the mother and son who provided alcohol to the teens at the party.
Source: Winston-Salem Journal, "Mother of Davidson girl killed by stone has settled with most defendants," Michael Hewlett, June 24, 2012