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Friends of Underage Drinking Victim Sued

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A Massachusetts woman whose 17-year-old daughter died after a night of drinking has sued seven people in connection with the death, including five of her friends under the age of 18, CBS News reported Jan. 28.

Taylor Meyer went out drinking after a high-school football game in October 2008, attending hourse parties and ending up at an abandoned airport. Sometime during the night, Meyer wandered off into a nearby swamp; her body was found in the water three days later.

Now, Meyer's mother, Kathi, has filed a civil lawsuit that includes five other teens who were drinking with Taylor that night. “The people involved in the circumstance of Taylor's passing definitely did not realize how much they contributed to it,” Meyer said. “And their actions haven't spoken in that manner.”

“Unfortunately, I'm born and raised in my town, so the majority of all those kids that were there that night have been Taylor's friends since they were five,” she added. “And I've said to parents, for me to bring this up and take this stance with it is not an easy stance to take by any means. But it's something that has to be done because when I go and speak to kids at schools they always ask me, 'What happened to those kids?' And I have to look and them and tell them they had a $50 fine and eight hours of community service.”

Such lawsuits against young defendants are unusual. “It's hard to blame another kid who's a binge drinker for the harm done to another kid who's a binge drinker,” said attorney Wendy Murphy. “It's sort of a group responsibility.” 

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