Depending on state laws, institutions such as museums, theaters or other nonprofits may assume a variety of potential liability risks if they serve alcohol at special events. They may face claims if, for example, intoxicated revelers cause bodily injuries or property damage, guests are involved in accidents after an event, or if under-aged celebrants are served alcohol.
If the institution is hosting its own event, one of the common considerations is selecting avendor to provide bartenders and wait staff. Since cultural institutions typically don’t have bartenders on staff, they’ll likely need to contract for those services and should see that the hired bartenders have alcohol-management training from an industry-recognized source, such as the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe program or other state-mandated certifications.
Because alcohol-related laws vary by state, event planners should review specific requirements and insurance coverage options with their agents, brokers and legal counsel.
Ann M. Minzner Conley is an executive liability specialist and vice president for Chubb Risk Engineering Services.