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Home COFSAB Forum Condo Owners Forum Q&A Condo Corp/Directors’ Liability for Social Gatherings with Alcohol

  • Condo Corp/Directors’ Liability for Social Gatherings with Alcohol

    Posted by Cheryl on October 1, 2022 at 11:20 am

    A volunteer in our 32-unit condo community has expressed an interest in planning and organizing our first ever Christmas “Wine and Cheese”. As we are a new condo community and have just recently attained full occupancy, this will be our first-ever social event.

    My question: Would the Condo Corp/Directors face any liability issues if alcohol was being served? We do not have a party or conference room, so this casual social would be held in our main lobby on a drop-in basis.

    Do any of you have experience with this or know the correct answer from a legal perspective?

    Cheryl replied 2 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
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  • David

    Member
    October 3, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    I live in a 114 unit condo, and we have social events regularly. But first, accept the reality that LIABILITY is a risk that you always have and cannot avoid. However, in my opinion the goal is to mitigate risk. If people live in the same place that the event is being held, then driving should be eliminated as a risk; that is a big win in the area of liability.

    Is the condo providing the alcohol? If so, the condo should be serving the alcohol and abiding by the same standards as Pro-Serve (while not required, a suggestion of mine would be that one or two people / volunteers consider becoming Pro-Serve certified. ; not self-serve. About 8 hours of on-line with exam; $25 maybe is the cost). The knowledge would be helpful and the condo reduces risk.

    A social with bartending may limit everyone to 1 or 2 drinks. Enough for a wine and cheese.

    Or, is it BYOB? Somewhat different then. But again there is some responsibility to monitor consumption, and obviously assist if someone needs some guidance regarding their condition.

    To a great extent, your event is not likely any different to a resident having a house party and being a fully responsible host.

    Manage the risk down, and up the community experience and spirit.

    My thoughts. Hope this is of some help. Best of luck ,,,,./David

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  • Cheryl

    Member
    October 6, 2022 at 10:57 am

    Hi Dave, thank you for taking the time to provide your experience and feedback.

    Your thoughts on liability risk vs benefit/reward really resonated. Stating that there will always be some element of liability risk for the Board/Corporation and to focus on mitigating that risk while addressing the desire/need for a connected condo community via social activities was a good takeaway. “Manage the risk down, and up the community experience and spirit.” – well said!!

    If we decide to go forward, our event would be BYOB. Our insurance broker, Lloyd Sadd, suggested we purchase a separate PAL insurance policy for complete liability coverage and peace of mind. For our small event, the cost would be $115.

    Right now, the Board is considering: 1) BYOB event with PAL insurance; 2) No alcohol event; or 3) event hosted by a unit owner who would assume all risk and liability.

    Thanks again for your insights, Dave!

    Cheryl

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