Letter: How to Avoid Liquor Party Liability

Those CAMS folks – they are our canary in the coal mine when it comes to detecting risky behavior. Ever since Crickentree began offering Liquor parties for our neighbors, beginning with the Bourbon Tasting Party on 5/1/2021, CAMS has been side-stepping any liability by having the Board President sign a Waiver of Liability for events. It seems that when budgets are constrained, it makes a lot more sense to have a college-age kid serve as bartender at $20 per hour, rather than pay the bonded and insured Bartending services at $8 per head. The association saves hundreds of dollars with which to buy the necessary cigars.

So why would CAMS be having the association cover for their liability? That’s because CAMS realizes that Liquor being served by someone uninsured, and with no ABC license being obtained, and with Uber golf cart rides taking inebriated neighbors home afterwards, those are multiple red flags for possible lawsuits. Even the with the best of intentions, and with the greatest care taken, one day there will be an accident. And if that injured person “dials all-9’s” he will get a receptive lawyer on his side.

But the association has insurance, right?  Well Yes, but here’s how things could work out. The smart personal injury lawyer first gets a judgement for $5,000,000. The association’s $2,000,000 insurance pays out, but there is still a $3,000,000 residual owed to the injured person. That’s when the association accesses the 143 lot owners $20,979 each! Ouch!

When the topic of liquor parties has come up, the Board’s response has been “please get over the fact that our demographics are changing.” Yes, I see the increase in young adults in their 30’s and 40’s. But I also see more elementary age kids too. What is our association teaching these children by having liquor parties?  How did we avoided this in the past?  Simple. We did not serve liquor. Wine and beer were served mainly at the Christmas party by an insured Bartending service.

So, how does an Individual avoid such Liability? Unlike CAMS, you don’t have a Waiver of Liability form. Our Board makes those decisions for us. So, if you don’t want this kind of risk generated within your neighborhood, tell your Board! If CAMS doesn’t want this type of liability, why should we as neighbors want it?

 Marvin DuBois

Crickentree resident

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]