State high court assigns liability in liquor cases

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California's high court has ruled that hosts who charge admission to parties may be held legally responsible if a drunken underage guest is hurt or injures someone else.

The state Supreme Court said in the unanimous ruling Monday that a cover charge amounts to a sale of alcohol, and state law creates liability for those who sell alcohol to obviously intoxicated minors.

The case stems from a 2007 party organized by then-20-year-old Jessica Manosa at a rental home owned by her parents. Nineteen-year-old Andrew Ennabe died after being hit outside the home by a car driven by another man who had been asked to leave the gathering.

Ennabe's family sought to hold Manosa liable for his death, through her parents and their homeowners insurance.

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