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Lasley v. Hylton

August 5, 2020

A social host does not breach the duty of care in allowing a minor to participate in a dangerous activity if the minor’s parent is present, supervising the activity, and the potential danger is open and obvious. In this case, the minor Plaintiff was a social guest who was riding on the host’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV) when minor Plaintiff was thrown to the ground and sustained injuries. The minor’s father was present and supervising the minor Plaintiff during the incident. The minor Plaintiff’s mother subsequently filed a complaint alleging that the host was negligent in allowing and assisting the minor Plaintiff to operate the ATV.

On appeal, the Supreme Court of Virginia held that a social host has a duty to exercise reasonable care for a minor’s safety. However, the Court found that the host satisfied this duty when he ensured that the minor Plaintiff had permission to ride the ATV and the father supervised the activity.