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Social Host Liquor Liability Blog

Prior to the enacting of section 768.125, Florida Statutes (1983), Florida recognized the existence of a common law cause of action for dram shop liability. C.B. Prevatt v. McClennan, 201 So. 2d 780 (Fla. 2d DCA 1967). In 1987, the Florida Supreme Court addressed the question of whether, after passage of section 768.125, Florida law permitted an action for social host liability. In Bankston v. Brennan, 507 So. 2d 1385 (Fla. 1987), the Florida Supreme Court considered prior precedent addressing dram shop liability in Florida as well as the legislative history of section 768.125. Despite the plain language of section 768.125, which imposes liability under enumerated circumstances upon a person who sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages, the Florida Supreme Court determined that the statute represents a limitation on a vendor's dram shop liability and does not create a cause of action for social host liability. The Supreme Court further declined to recognize a common law cause of action for social host liability despite recognizing the potential social desirability of doing so. Consequently, in accordance with Bankston, Florida does not recognize a cause of action for social host liquor liability in Florida.

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