By Ian Neubauer

Legal counsel for a Tasmanian publican who was found liable after an intoxicated patron died in a road accident will mount a challenge in the High Court of Australia.

The Tasmanian Supreme Court ruled in a majority decision this week that licensee Andrew Kirkpatrick owned a duty of care to a patron who died in a single-vehicle collision after leaving his pub.

The ruling is without precedent but takes into account that the patron was allowed to ride home on a motorbike that had earlier been locked in the pub’s storeroom.

But a hearing for assessment of damages estimated to reach six figures will now be put on ice after solicitor Richard Mole told The Australian Kirpatrick would appeal the ruling once more.

The development is a small victory for the hotel industry, which is up in arms over what it sees as the diminishment of personal responsibility of patrons at licensees’ expense.

It follows a ruling by a WA court that fined a venue for allowing students to partake in a game that involved binge drinking and vomiting into plastic bags.

The Shed and one of its directors were fined $1000 a piece for permitting disorderly and indecent behaviour after an off-duty police officer filmed the game and forwarded it to licensing authorities, Perth Now reported. 

The magistrate discounted the licensee’s claim that the venue was unaware of the game, saying it had been going on for years.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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