Negligent, liable, failure to report

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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

Asked on January 27, 2019 under Criminal Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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