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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37845
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I have a question regarding leaving someone alone who is

Customer Question

I have a question regarding leaving someone alone who is emotionally upset and later is found dead. Is that person liable in any way?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Texas
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Here is a brief summary of what happened: My son was extremely emotionally upset that his grandmother was within 24 hours of dying. He went to nursing home to visit with his wife and 2 yr old son around 8:30 at night. He stayed in her room for an hour. His wife never came in. When they left he told his wife to stop by his friend's shop so he could get on his motorcycle and take a ride before coming home. He then stopped at a roadside bar and had 4 beers in an hour and a half before leaving at midnight. Two miles down the road his bike left the roadway and struck a guardrail head on killing him instantly. My point is, his wife knew he was extremely upset (her own words) and that he was taking epilepsy meds. She basically dumped him alongside the road for him to walk a half mile on a dirt driveway in total black of night to get his bike. She went home and didn't report him missing until 8:00 next morning. Keep in mind also that she had recently threatened him wife divorce and has not lifted a finger to ascertain if the bar was at fault.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Case is under investigation with TABC regarding bar's potential fault.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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I am very sorry to hear that this happened, but unfortunately there is no liability on the part of the wife unless son had been declared legally incompetent and she had been appointed his guardian. Assuming that this was not the case, and he was a legally competent adult, if emotionally upset, then he was free to make his own choices concerning his behavior and she would have had no legal duty, or legal right for that matter, to stop him from engaging in behavior that later contributed to his death.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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Barrister

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Barrister replied 8 months ago.

You are very welcome. I am glad to help, even though the news was not very good.

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I wish you and yours all the best in this tough time.

Barrister