Personal Injury Blog

Family of Teen Killed at Underage Drinking Party Call Attention to Lax Punishment of Complicit Adults

By: Allan M. Siegel

In our blog last week, we noted the Maryland Court of Special Appeals' unfortunate decision in Davis v. Stapf. In that case, the court held that the parents of a teen killed in a drunk driving accident, could not sue the parent who provided alcohol to an underage drinking party that led to the tragedy. The sad, more recent case of Maryland teen Alex Murk shows the injustice that can result.

Shortly before his death, Alex, a recent graduate of Wootton High School, was at an underage drinking party in a home in North Potomac. One of the adult homeowners was present during the party, and allegedly joked with one of the teens bringing alcohol into his home. Alex ultimately left the party in a car driven by another teen who had been drinking. The driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed, killing both Alex and another minor sitting with him in the back seat.

For allowing minors to drink alcohol in his home, the adult faces a maximum criminal penalty of a $2,500. That is a low price to pay for conduct that led to the death of two teens – and goes to show the importance of allowing victims to sue people who use, distribute, or allow alcohol to be consumed irresponsibly, leading to destructive auto accidents.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a drunk driver, you should contact the personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. for a free consultation.