The parents of a woman who died after falling from a staircase at a 2010 Halloween party have filed a lawsuit against the Chicago hotel and event companies that hosted the party. The suit alleges negligence against the party’s hosts for providing unlimited alcohol to the attendees, and failing to provide adequate security to keep them safe. The lawsuit draws on principles of premises liability and the Dram Shop law, but it may also have to contend with issues of comparative fault.
On October 30, 2010, 23 year-old Megan Duskey and friends went to a party at the Palmer House Hilton hotel in Chicago. Around two thousand guests were expected at the party, which was scheduled to go until 2:00 a.m. According to one of Duskey’s friends, they had been at the party for about thirty minutes when she stepped away for a moment. When the friend returned, her other friends told her that Duskey had fallen. Duskey had apparently tried to slide down a banister rail in a stairwell. She fell four stories and died instantly of head trauma. This occurred at about 10:30 p.m. The coroner’s office later ruled her death an accident.
Duskey’s parents, Deborah and James Duskey, filed a lawsuit on July 24, 2012 in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, naming the Palmer House Hilton and its parent, Hilton Worldwide, as defendants, along with the event companies, Surreal Chicago and Adrenaline Y2K. The party’s hosts, according to the lawsuit, allowed ticket holders at the party to “consume unlimited amounts of alcoholic beverages,” but did not have security to protect partygoers. The lawsuit alleges ten total counts and seeks over $500,000 in damages from the defendants.