The rear and responsibility
We are just a few weeks into the fall soccer season. Millions of rabid soccer fans will dump food and drinks into their favorite vehicle and head to the soccer stadium parking lots. When they arrive, grills will come out, tables and chairs will be set up, team flags and banners will be hoisted, and coolers will be filled with great drinks.
Now why would I spoil that festive atmosphere with an article on responsibility?
That is simple, my friends. I want to warn you about some very serious issues that could not only ruin your backdoor party, but drastically affect your financial future.
I’ll talk about backdoor parties hosted by both individuals and businesses because some of the potential issues are the same.
Problem number one: it is your legal responsibility at the football stadium. It is parked in a public parking lot. It may be parked in a private parking lot. But either way, someone else owns the floor you sit on. Therefore, they could be held legally liable in the event that a guest is injured on their premises. The problem arises when your participation is included. If you are taking up space with your truck, caravan, coach or tent, along with tables, chairs, racks, etc., you are increasing the number of things that could cause personal injury. Chairs collapse, people trip over things, grates explode … and personal injury wouldn’t have occurred if it weren’t for the tailgate party.
Problem number two: it is harm to others by contaminated food. Tailgate parties often go on for many hours. Food stays on tables waiting for guests to fill their plates. But if someone gets food poisoning from the food they ate at the back door party, you may be liable for their injury, medical costs, lost income from missing work, or even death.
To minimize the risk of contaminated food, take care to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use covered plates and disposable plates and utensils. And refrain from serving foods that have a reputation for spoiling, such as potato salad or seafood.
Problem number three: it is your legal responsibility to serve alcoholic beverages. If a guest is injured at the tailgate party, or at the football stadium, or while driving home, or injures others because he is determined to be drunk, you could be legally responsible for providing the alcoholic beverages.
If you think you must provide alcoholic beverages, consider a drink coupon system to limit the number of drinks served. However, serve alcohol only for a short period.
Serve lots of non-alcoholic beverages: water, soda, juices, coffee, tea.
Arrange transportation for intoxicated guests if they leave the back door party with some of their alcohol in their stomach. Call a cab, use designated drivers, or drive them home in your vehicle.
Do not sell alcoholic beverages at the tailgate party. No cash bar, no cash contribution jar on the table. If an individual host were selling alcoholic beverages at the back door party, they would likely have violated state alcohol laws.
So does the individual tailgate party host have any liability coverage for the party?
NO, YOU DON’T !! If you have a homeowners insurance policy, you don’t have liability coverage built in for off-site activities, like a back door party. In Section II, Exclusions, E. Coverage E, 4. “The insured’s premises is not an insured place:” Bodily injury or property damage arising from a premises rented to an insured. “It could be argued that if he paid for the parking lot, he rented the space he occupies in the parking lot, but the foreclosure still stands.
A person hosting a backdoor party should purchase a one-day event liability insurance policy to protect their assets.
Does a company that hosts a back door party have any liability coverage for the party?
MAY HAVE COVERAGE depending on the liability policy you have. In the Commercial General Liability Coverage Form CG0001, the “Territory of Coverage” is defined as the United States of America. That protects you in off-site locations.
Business: Remember that even if you have adequate insurance, called “host liquor liability insurance coverage,” it will not apply and will not protect your business if alcoholic beverages are sold at your party. You must purchase additional liquor liability insurance coverage prior to the party.
A business hosting a back door party should consider hiring a separate waiter or caterer to serve alcohol. He will know better when to say ‘No’ to a guest who has had too many. The hired bartender must have their own liability insurance and provide you with a copy of their certificate of insurance BEFORE the party. Instruct the bartender / caterer to notify an appropriate event manager if they find someone who has had too much to drink.
In closing, don’t look at this article as a “buzz”. Consider me the beacon on the shore, alerting you to rocks and shoals. Avoid them and your tailgate party will be a huge success!