Negligent, liable, failure to report

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Negligent, liable, failure to report

If someone knows that someone is
commiting suicide killing
themself and doesn’t call 911 and
the suicidal person dies can the
person that did nothing to stop the
other from dieing be held
accountable?

Asked on January 27, 2019 under Criminal Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, they cannot be. You can only be held accountable or liable when there is some duty to act; if there is no duty or obligation, there is no liability for failing to act. While certain people may have a duty to act in that circumstance--e.g. a mental health professional treating or counseling the person--the average person has no obligation or duty (no legal obligation or duty; we'll leave you to decide for yourself if there is an ethical obligation) to try to prevent another person from committing suicide or to call 911.


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