Is There Potential For Liability???

This is a discussion on Is There Potential For Liability??? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; With the recent news that the well known abortion doctor was shot and killed in church and some of the comments circulating around the Conservative ...

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Thread: Is There Potential For Liability???

  1. #1
    Member Array sspargo's Avatar
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    Is There Potential For Liability???

    With the recent news that the well known abortion doctor was shot and killed in church and some of the comments circulating around the Conservative community I had this thought and the only way to present it is as a possible scenario:

    An individual that you don't particularly like is on the same bowling league, country club, church, etc. as you. Let's say its similar to the above situation and his profession is something that you vehemently disagree with and have made it well known that you disagree with him and make no bones about the fact that you do not like him.

    Someone comes in the place with a gun/knife intent on killing said individual. You as a CCW holder and carrying do nothing to stop it.

    Is there any liability with the CCW holder in this situation. Could your lack to step in put you at risk of criminal prosecution or civil liability? Would this be similar to a CPR Certified individual refusing to help a heart attack victim that they do not like?

    I know that in my CCW class the instructor said that you are under absolutely NO obligation to EVER step in and help ANYONE. If you do, you do so of your own free will and do so accepting whatever consequences that may arise.
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  3. #2
    Member Array Donodii's Avatar
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    I don't see any liability for you not stopping it, if the threat was not at you. If you should happen to miss and hit an innocent person, looks like the liability is on you. It looks like a nice long trial and lots of cash.
    Never argue with idiots - they'll drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    You're not your brother's keeper. Nor the keeper of someone you dislike who enjoys bowling. (No disrespect to bowling.)

    In this life, you rolls the dice and takes your chances. Getting involved in a deadly situation has its liabilities, yes, not least of which is damage to you and others. Not getting involved has its liabilities, including guilt trips, claims from the finger-wagglers who will second-guess your actions or non-actions.

    But, you're implying that your prior statements about not having the guy at the top of your list of holiday invitations is going to get you in any legal hot water merely because you don't pull out the cape and become the savior of the moment.

    All I can say is: anything's possible. In this day and age, where the rule of law and sane, honorable judgments are all the rage (not!) in court, it's anyone's guess as to whether you could be fingered on some spurious and ludicrous claim that is seen as detrimental to society. Of course, the same apparatus that has been officially absolved by SCOTUS of having any duty to protect will be the same one attempting to claim you did. Personally, on that basis alone (the ludicrousness, I mean), any such howling over your action or non-action wouldn't get very far, I think.

    It's probably fair to say that an onrushing, knife-wielding attacker has little claim to the moral high ground and is ripe for being stopped ... by you, me or someone else. On that basis, I can't see any liabilities beyond the costs of defending against spurious civil lawsuits that might come after you for having dared raise your head above the sheets, daring to protect someone.
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    Distinguished Member Array Bunny's Avatar
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    Liability? I don't think so, but I'm not an attorney. But no matter who it was, (you're talking about basically a "good" person whose profession you don't agree with, not like a Child Rapist or something, right?) if I knew that I was able to stop it and didn't try, I think I would have a lot of guilt if they were killed, and maybe some trouble sleeping. Though I agree, you don't have an obligation to step in. And RG's right -- what if you hit an innocent with an errant shot?
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    Short answer to your question is no, you can not be held criminally liable for standing by and doing nothing.

    That being said there is nothing to stop an ambulance chaser from talking the family into trying to sue you for not saving him. It probably wouldn't fly in court, but in most cases they are hoping for an out of court settlement. After all, if they have to spend time preparing for court they are missing all those other ambulances there are to chase.

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    I get the whole CPR thing’ since I use to be a BLS instructor. Anyway, I personally don’t believe any reasonable court or jury, would order or render any private person responsible, for not drawing and shooting someone that may be a threat to a third party.
    Regards,
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    I don't see any liability issue in this world or the court system in any state.

    There may be liability issues in the next world.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Unless you are the 'appointed' care-giver, or protector, I see no way to pin any libiality on you.
    You are under no obligation to take care of your neighbor....
    Incorrect action could cause some difficulties, but lack of action would be difficult to claim in the scenario of which you speak.OMO
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    Member Array chains1240's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sspargo View Post
    With the recent news that the well known abortion doctor was shot and killed in church and some of the comments circulating around the Conservative community I had this thought and the only way to present it is as a possible scenario:

    An individual that you don't particularly like is on the same bowling league, country club, church, etc. as you. Let's say its similar to the above situation and his profession is something that you vehemently disagree with and have made it well known that you disagree with him and make no bones about the fact that you do not like him.

    Someone comes in the place with a gun/knife intent on killing said individual. You as a CCW holder and carrying do nothing to stop it.

    Is there any liability with the CCW holder in this situation. Could your lack to step in put you at risk of criminal prosecution or civil liability? Would this be similar to a CPR Certified individual refusing to help a heart attack victim that they do not like?

    I know that in my CCW class the instructor said that you are under absolutely NO obligation to EVER step in and help ANYONE. If you do, you do so of your own free will and do so accepting whatever consequences that may arise.
    I do not think there is any civil liability in this case. And I am CPR certified, it was explained to me that I have NO RESPONSIBILITY to start CPR on a person that needs it BUT if I start CPR I have to continue until I am relieved from it by someone else that is certified. The only time you can be held liable is if it is your job to protect someone, like a lifeguard that refuses to perform CPR on a drowning victim. This was explained to me by my teacher, a retired 25 yer veteran of the State Police, and my CPR instructor who is a RN. At least here in Michigan I do not believe you are obligated to save someone else if it is not your job to do so.

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    Senior Member Array LeCalsey's Avatar
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    As I see it, the only liability you have is if you decide to help. Not the other way around. You are not a cop and you have no sworn duty to intervene
    2A is not negotiable

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    Interesting scenario. Assuming your open comments of dislike were in no way inciting the attacker, you would have no liability, as best I can guess: IANAL.

    If you provoked the attack in any way with your open hostility, you might remotely be in doo, but it wouldn't be for not protecting.

    Now, morally, as some else noted, the scenario has too issues for you. Your role however minor in the actions taken by others and your deliberate decision to let a bad thing happen when you could have stopped it. Those will I suspect be judged elsewhere.

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    Senior Member Array BradyM77's Avatar
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    As pretty much everybody has stated, you're not going to get sued over it. Morally, that's another story. I don't have a cape and mask and have no plans on buying any anytime soon. You chose to do something about it and get your permit, he didn't. It's his choice to not exercise his right to self protection.
    "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!" Bart Simpson

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Here's the basic difference between an armed LEO and an armed citizen...

    An armed LEO is allowed to use appropriate force (which can allow lethal force in a non-lethal force encounter) and has, under certain circumstances, a legal obligation to use that force in preventing a crime and/or detaining a criminal.

    An armed citizen is only allowed to use equal force (lethal force only against lethal force), but this is balanced by a complete lack of obligation to use that force, ever.

    While any given jurisdiction might be a toss-up, the bottom line is that any competent judge would dismiss a lawsuit against an armed citizen for failure to use force with contempt.
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    Member Array Stirling XD's Avatar
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    You are more likely to be sued the assailent (or his estate/family) for shooting him than by the victim's family for doing nothing. It is quite common for the BG to sue the victim that shot him justifiably. The BG (or his family/estate) and his lawyer hope that the victim's insurance company will settle out of court rather than risk spending more on a defense. (We so desperatly need a "loser pays" court system.)

    On the other hand, if no one know that you carry, it would be nearly impossible for them to find reason to sue you for doing nothing.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny View Post
    Liability? I don't think so, but I'm not an attorney. But no matter who it was, (you're talking about basically a "good" person whose profession you don't agree with, not like a Child Rapist or something, right?) if I knew that I was able to stop it and didn't try, I think I would have a lot of guilt if they were killed, and maybe some trouble sleeping. Though I agree, you don't have an obligation to step in. And RG's right -- what if you hit an innocent with an errant shot?
    I agree with Bunny 100 percent. If you do not agree with or dislike someone and there is a chance to save this persons life It is your decision. If it were me and this person was killed or injured while I stood by I would feel guildy and would probley lose quite a bit of sleep..You might not like this person but someone else dose and will miss him or her.

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