Receptionist gets $300,000 after leaving office party drunk

Car crash she caused could have been prevented if the employer had monitored alcohol consumption, says court.

A Barrie, Ont. receptionist who got drunk at an office Christmas party and caused a car crash has been awarded $300,000 after suing her employer for serving alcohol.

The judge found Linda Hunt’s employer, Sutton Group Incentive Realty Inc., partly responsible for the crash, saying they should not have had an open and unsupervised bar.

The open bar made it impossible for the firm’s managers to monitor the alcohol consumption of employees, the judge said. The company should have known she was intoxicated and refused to serve her.

Hunt said her co-workers and staff should have physically restrained her from driving and therefore were partly responsible.

After leaving the party, Hunt drove to a pub where she had more to drink. She also sued the pub.

The Sutton Group said they offered to call Hunt’s husband at a nearby factory to drive her home.

Hunt suffered permanent physical and brain injuries in the December 1994 crash.

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