CASE LAW - Lutter v Smithson

BC Courts Coat of ArmsGlen and Tralee Mazu's daughter Brianne held a 19th birthday party with their consent on family property. A minor guest, Dallas Smithson, became very drunk and eventually drove away from the party in a borrowed vehicle. He collided with a taxi, killing the taxi driver and injuring the passenger, Jeremy Lutter.

Lutter took legal action against Smithson, the Mazus and others for damages arising from the collision. Mr. and Mrs. Mazus applied to the court to have the action against them dismissed. The other parties opposed the dismissal saying that the evidence demonstrates that the Mazus, as social hosts, owed a duty of care to users of the road which they breached.

Mr. Justice Macaulay agreed and refused to dismiss and the trial to determine liability will take place next month.