Smith v. Kappell

In Smith v. Kappell, 147 Wis. 2d 380, 433 N.W.2d 588 (Ct. App. 1988), an injured party brought a negligence claim against two sixteen-year-old girls. The first defendant was alleged to have furnished alcohol to the driver of the car that struck the plaintiff contrary to Wis. Stat. 125.07(1)(a). Section 125.07(1)(a) provides that "no person may procure for, sell, dispense or give away any alcohol beverages to any underage person." The Court concluded that the first defendant was liable because the term "person" denotes any "natural person," see Wis. Stat. 125.02(14), and thus includes an adult or a minor. See Kappell, 147 Wis. 2d at 384-85. The second defendant was alleged to have permitted the use of her mother's residence as a place to consume alcohol contrary to 125.07(1)(a)3. We held that she was not liable, however, because as a sixteen year old, she was not an "adult." See Kappell, 147 Wis. 2d at 387.