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Behnke v. Pierson

Michigan Court of Appeals
Jan 29, 1970
175 N.W.2d 303 (Mich. Ct. App. 1970)

Summary

discussing employer host's possible liability in terms of social host's possible liability

Summary of this case from Mosko v. Raytheon Co.

Opinion

Docket No. 7,235.

Decided January 29, 1970. Leave to appeal September 22, 1970. 384 Mich. 757.

Appeal from Kent, Claude Vander Ploeg, J. Submitted Division 3 January 9, 1970, at Grand Rapids. (Docket No. 7,235.) Decided January 29, 1970. Leave to appeal September 22, 1970. 384 Mich. 757.

Complaint by Norma Behnke, for herself and as executrix of the estate of Clarence W. Behnke, deceased, against Fred W. Pierson, Sr., and Fred W. Pierson, Jr., partners doing business as M T Manufacturing Company, for the death of Clarence Behnke which resulted when his automobile was struck in the rear by another driver who had been furnished alcoholic beverages by defendants. Summary judgment for defendants. Plaintiff appeals. Affirmed.

Warner, Norcross Judd ( Jerome M. Smith, of counsel), for plaintiff.

Cholette, Perkins Buchanan ( Edward D. Wells, of counsel), for defendants.

Before: V.J. BRENNAN, P.J., and R.B. BURNS and T.M. BURNS, JJ.


Plaintiff's deceased husband's automobile was struck from the rear by Edward Blair, an employee of defendant company. Death of plaintiff's husband resulted from the accident. Blair had participated in a company holiday party in the afternoon preceding the accident; alcoholic beverages were provided by the company and Blair admittedly consumed bottles of beer. The complaint alleges that defendant company furnished intoxicating liquor, caused the intoxication of Blair, furnished intoxicating liquor to Blair after he was intoxicated and when defendants knew or should have known that they were endangering lives, and knew or should have known that Blair would drive his automobile. This appeal is from a summary judgment of no cause of action as to defendants-appellees.

This Court is asked to decide whether or not the complaint states a cause of action against defendants under the common law or the civil damage act.

The general rule is that furnishing liquor without gain on social occasions creates no right of action against the host. 8 ALR3d 1413, § 2.

Michigan follows this general rule. LeGault v. Klebba (1967), 7 Mich. App. 640.

LeGault held that there was no action available against those who gave intoxicants to a person who later caused injury. In Michigan, recovery for such injury caused by an intoxicated person is exclusively statutory., The statute makes no provision for holding private individuals liable for furnishing intoxicants without pecuniary gain for social courtesy or hospitality reasons. In this case, the holiday beverages were dispensed for no pecuniary gain and for social and hospitable enjoyment.

MCLA § 436.22 (Stat Ann 1957 Rev § 18.993).

But see Hollerud v. Malamis (1969), 20 Mich. App. 748 .

Affirmed. Costs to defendants.


Summaries of

Behnke v. Pierson

Michigan Court of Appeals
Jan 29, 1970
175 N.W.2d 303 (Mich. Ct. App. 1970)

discussing employer host's possible liability in terms of social host's possible liability

Summary of this case from Mosko v. Raytheon Co.

furnishing alcohol at company party

Summary of this case from Meany v. Newell

In Behnke and LeGault, the private individuals who were not held liable under the dramshop act for furnishing alcoholic beverages as a social courtesy, had not violated any statutes governing alcoholic beverages in so doing. Here the defendants had furnished alcoholic beverages as a social courtesy, albeit in defendant Sampson's automobile; however, in so doing, plaintiffs alleged the defendants violated two penal statutes relating to the use and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Summary of this case from Lover v. Sampson
Case details for

Behnke v. Pierson

Case Details

Full title:BEHNKE v. PIERSON

Court:Michigan Court of Appeals

Date published: Jan 29, 1970

Citations

175 N.W.2d 303 (Mich. Ct. App. 1970)
175 N.W.2d 303

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