The recent death in Winnipeg of a man who was found outside in the cold after being thrown out of a house party has raised legal questions about the responsibilities of party hosts.
The body of a 43-year-old man was found on the 600 block of Harbison Avenue East on Sunday evening.
According to police, the man had been drinking with several people at a home on the same street when he became verbally aggressive toward other partygoers.
The man was asked to leave the party, and that resulted in a fight before he was forced out, say police.
He was later found, with no coat or shoes on, in the backyard of a house next door.
Winnipeg police say they are waiting for autopsy results to come in later this week before deciding if charges are warranted.
The case has some wondering if homeowners have a responsibility to ensure their party guests get home safely.
May be crossing the line: lawyer
Roy Dawson, a lawyer in Dauphin, Man., said there is a bit of a grey area.
"A person owning a home has the right to protect it and protect the people inside. I think if that is the simple facts, they were within their legal boundaries," he told CBC News.
"But when you place someone in jeopardy, you may well be crossing the line."
He added, "When you push someone outside in sub-zero weather, as I say, without adequate clothing, you may well be crossing the line of criminal negligence."
Dawson tackled a similar case in court in 2011, when a Dauphin couple was fined in connection with the death of a 15-year-old girl who had been drinking at their son's eighteenth birthday party.
The teen was found frozen to death in a parking lot hours after leaving the party, which was hosted at the couple's home in February 2009.
The couple was fined after pleading guilty to permitting drunkenness in their home, contrary to Manitoba's Liquor Control Act.
Dawson said it was difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the parents knew the girl was at risk of freezing to death.