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Androvett Blog

by Rhonda Reddick at 9:39:54 am

Unsupervised Post-Prom Blowouts Can Result in Hotel Liability

From television to movies, spending an unsupervised prom night in a hotel room is often depicted as a teenager’s final rite of passage into adulthood. However, it is not business courted by many hotels and those that do run the risk of being held liable should the celebration spiral out of control. 

“Most hotels have it in their rental policies that they will not rent to anyone under the age of 18,” says litigation attorney Brett Lamb of the Dallas office of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP. “Nor can you rent a room on behalf of someone else. That includes parents who rent a room on behalf of their child, but are not staying there themselves.”

Should hotel staff notice an uptick in post-prom registrations, they should have established policies for how to respond, says Lamb, as knowingly having underage guests engaging in risky or illegal behavior opens the hotel up to liability if they do nothing to stop it. “The hotel has a duty to all guests to warn them of known dangers, the hotel can’t just look the other way and hope for the best.”

Lamb’s partner, Dewey Brackin of Gardere’s Austin office cautions that hotels with a liquor license could also find themselves in hot water with the TABC if they permit, even by omission “anyone under 21 to drink alcoholic beverages on the premises, unless they are under the direct supervision of their parent or guardian.” While some parents might feel their child is safer in a hotel room drinking with friends, hotels cannot be used as a substitute chaperon, he says.