He wasn’t a student at the school, and the party took place over the summer. But a college found itself defending charges that it was responsible for his alcohol-related death.
The party was held at a college-owned house by two students who were living there and working at the school for the summer. The students didn’t clear the party with the college, and they violated the school’s alcohol policy by having beer there.
After drinking at the party, the 20-year-old guest was killed when he drove his car into a disabled bus on a highway.
His parents blamed the college: They said it should have done a better job of monitoring alcohol consumption and preventing underage drinking at the party.
The accident wasn’t the college’s fault, the court said.
The college’s rules about alcohol didn’t include someone who wasn’t a student there, it explained.
No one was in a better position to prevent the accident than the deceased victim. He could have decided not to drink, to drink less, or not to drive.
A ruling for the college was upheld.
Cite: Brody v. Wheaton College
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