Petolicchio v. Santa Cruz County Fair and Rodeo Ass'n, Inc

In Petolicchio v. Santa Cruz County Fair and Rodeo Ass'n, Inc., 177 Ariz. 256, 866 P.2d 1342 (1994), an employee of the defendant stole liquor from the defendant and furnished the alcohol to a minor, who drove under the influence and crashed his automobile, killing the plaintiffs' son, a passenger in the vehicle. Before the accident, law enforcement officials had warned the employee's mother, who also worked for the defendant and managed its liquor inventory, that her son had been using her keys to steal the defendant's liquor and furnish it to minors, but she did nothing to stop him. The supreme court held that, under those facts, "a licensee the defendant storing alcohol has a duty to exercise reasonable care to guard that substance from those who will foreseeably endanger the public by its use." Id. at 262, 866 P.2d at 1348. The party in Petolicchio that unlawfully provided alcohol to the third party was an employee of the defendant, as was the employee's mother, who was warned by law enforcement officials of her son's stealing the alcohol.