November 20, 2012

Tavern Liability Defences From A to Z

Tavern Liability Defences From A to Z

Written by: John A. Olah

John A. Olah addressed the Canadian Defence Lawyers Association on Commercial Host Liability.

Defending bars and taverns can be challenging at times—defence counsel has to be part toxicologist and part academic. This paper will focus on the latter and review the legislation as well as the case law surrounding tavern liability.

Canadian courts have long held that commercial hosts owe a duty of care to patrons who face a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury as a result of alcohol intoxication.  The seminal case in this area is Jordan House Hotel Ltd. v. Menow and Honsberger where Supreme Court of Canada held that a commercial host has a duty, not only to not over-serve patrons but also to arrange for the patron’s safe transport home if the patron becomes intoxicated at its premises.

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