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Reynolds v. Hicks

Supreme Court of Washington
951 P.2d 761 (1998)


Jamie and Anna Hicks (defendants) hosted a wedding reception, where their minor nephew consumed alcohol. The nephew later drove, and was involved in an accident with Reynolds (plaintiff). Reynolds and his family sued the Hicks, alleging that they were negligent in serving alcohol to their nephew, and knew that he was under the legal drinking age and later became intoxicated. The Reynolds argued that the Hick owed them a duty of care, based on a Washington statute which prohibits the supply of alcohol to persons under 21. The trial court dismissed the Hicks on summary judgment, agreeing that Washington law does not make a social host liable to a third party for injuries sustained as a result of the host providing alcohol to someone under 21. The court of appeals certified the case to this court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Madsen, J.)

Concurrence (Durham, C.J.)

Dissent (Johnson, J.)

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