A Western New York appeals court has upheld a Dram Shop action against a homeowner whose teenage son staged a drinking party where one of the guests was bitten by their dog. The complaint alleges that because the minors were drunk and rowdy, the dog became agitated, and the host was too intoxicated to control the animal. The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, said in Murphy v. Cominsky, 12-00273, that the trial court rightly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss a Dram Shop Act claim, which allows recovery against a party who unlawfully provides alcohol to someone whose intoxication leads to another’s injury.
But the panel said Supreme Court Justice Deborah Karalunas of Syracuse (See Profile) should have dismissed a second cause of action accusing the defendant homeowner of negligence. “There is no common law cause of action for the negligent provision of alcohol in this state,” the panel said in a memorandum signed by Justices John Centra (See Profile), Eugene Fahey (See Profile), Erin Peradotto (See Profile), Edward Carni (See Profile) and Rose Sconiers (See Profile).