Am I legally bound to pay for medical bills of my friend

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Am I legally bound to pay for medical bills of my friend

I live in Seattle. I took marijuana chocolates to my friends birthday party as I thought it would be fun. I gave it to them without their knowledge but the effects started only after we dispersed after they party. My friends called 911. They are demanding that I pay their ambulance bills, hospital bills and 911 bills. Am I legally bound to pay this? I know that weed is legal in WA. We’re all adults.

Asked on April 14, 2018 under Personal Injury, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't matter if it was legal: you write that you gave it to them without their knowledge. IF the marijuana chocolates caused his distress, you are liable, because you acted in a negligent or unreasonably careless way by giving him an intoxicating substance without his knowledge or consent. (Had he known and knowingly ingested it, there would be no liability.) Alcohol is also legal, but if you spiked someone's drink with vodka without their knowledge, you would be liable if they became ill, just like you'd also be liable if you, as a joke, you slipped laxatives (which are legal) into someone's food and they had a bad reaction.
The fact that you gave them marijuana chocolate would only make you liable if the chocoloate caused the symptoms or effects that made them call the ambulance--i.e. if you they became ill or disorented for some other reason (they had the flu; they had food poisoning from something else they ate; etc.), you would not be liable. But if the marijuana is what caused them to seek medical care, then you are liable.


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