Rogers v. MartinAnnotate this Case
Angela Martin and Brian Brothers co-hosted a house party at which alcohol was served. As the party was winding down, Brothers and two guests, Jerry Chambers and Paul Michalik, got into a fistfight. Martin found Michalik lying motionless on the basement floor and Chambers with blood on his face. The police later found Michalik dead outside the home. The personal representative of Michalik’s estate and Chambers’s bankruptcy trustee filed a complaint against Martin, alleging, in part, that she negligently caused Michalik’s injuries and that she furnished alcohol in violation of Indiana’s Dram Shop Act. The trial court granted Martin’s motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) summary judgment on the negligence claim was improper, as there remained a question of fact as to whether Martin breached the landowner-invitee duty to exercise reasonable care for Michalik’s protection while he was on her premises; and (2) summary judgment was appropriate on Plaintiffs’ Dram Shop Act claim because Martin jointly paid for and possessed the same beer, and therefore, Martin could not “furnish” it to Brothers under the Act.