Cowart v. Grimaldi

In Cowart v. Grimaldi, 46 Conn. Supp. 248, 746 A.2d 833 (1997), the plaintiff alleged that one of the defendants had assisted the defendant driver, who was a minor, "by taking charge of him after he had become intoxicated at his place of employment. . . ." Cowart v. Grimaldi, supra, 46 Conn. Supp. 249. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant who took charge of the minor had driven him to the home of another defendant "to enable and assist the minor defendant to consume additional intoxicating liquor" and subsequently drove him to his car, knowing that he was intoxicated, "thereby substantially assisting and encouraging him to operate his" car while intoxicated. Id. Citing 876 of the Restatement, the court stated that "a person may be liable to a third person for the tortious conduct of another if he knows that the other's conduct constitutes a breach of duty and gives substantial assistance or encouragement to the other to so conduct himself." Id., 251. Pursuant to the Restatement, liability may be imposed on a person who substantially enables an intoxicated person to become drunk and operate an automobile in that state. Consequently, the court held that the defendant who had taken charge of the minor defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff's decedent. Id., 252.