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Herr v. Booten

Pennsylvania Superior Court
580 A.2d 1115 (1990)


Facts

Eric Herr, a college student born on January 17, 1963, was about to turn 21. The day before his twenty-first birthday, he and his friends, Paul Booten, John Raymer, Alex Orolyn, and Robb Aspril (defendants), decided to go out and buy alcohol to celebrate Herr’s birthday. All of Herr’s friends contributed money to purchasing alcohol, and the five friends began drinking beer in Herr’s apartment in the late afternoon of January 16. Later that evening, Herr’s friends gave him a bottle of liquor. Herr proceeded to consume most of the bottle. A large portion of this consumption happened before Herr turned 21. On the morning of January 17, Herr was found in his bedroom, dead. He had died from acute alcohol poisoning and had a blood-alcohol content of 0.64 percent. Herr’s parents (plaintiffs) brought a negligence action against Herr’s friends for providing him with alcohol and then failing to care for him when he became injured from consumption of the alcohol. The trial court granted the friends’ motion for summary judgment, finding there was no cause of action for negligence. Specifically, the trial court found that Herr was 21 when his friends supplied him with alcohol. Herr’s parents appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Montemuro, J.)

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