If someone killed themselves after breaking things off, could I be legally liable? 20 Answers as of January 20, 2011

I met someone online, and it stayed strictly online. We chatted online, and that was the end of it. Nothing more. He claimed he was in love with me, and I told him I was not. He told me he was going to kill himself, I tried to talk him down, and now his friends are telling me that he killed himself over me. Is there any case against me?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Dack Marasigan, LLP
Dack Marasigan, LLP | Martin E. Dack, Esq
Not from the way,you described it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2011
Allegretti & Associates
Allegretti & Associates | James L. Allegretti
Not from the way you describe the facts.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 1/18/2011
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
It would be a far reach for you to have any liability based on the facts you presented in your inquiry.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 1/18/2011
Premier Law Group
Premier Law Group | Jason Epstein
Wow, that is a tough situation. From what you have said, I don't think you could be held liabile, however, that is just a first blush opinion. You should probably contact a local attorney to discuss all of your facts.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/17/2011
Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
Not that I am aware of.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 1/17/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    I can only think of one circumstance under which you would be liable based on the facts you have given me below: intentional infliction of emotional distress. If you intentionally caused him great emotional distress and he killed himself as a direct result, you could be liable. But those cases are usually on the level of playing a practical joke on someone and making them think their child has been killed - we're talking really, really cruel stuff. It doesn't sound like you have set out to hurt him. Also if there is intervening factors -such as serious mental illness, you shouldn't be liable unless you knew of the illness and played into it.

    From what you have said below, I think you should be okay.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    I cannot think of any cause of action that would apply to you. There really is no duty to assist someone if you did not put them in harm's way somehow. I have never seen law saying that suicide after a relationship break, particularly one that never was in person, could be the basis for suit. You would have had no idea he was serious and even if you did, I would take the position it was not your problem. There was a case filed against a television show that revealed a gay crush on a hypersensitive man and I am not sure of the outcome. However, there you had an affirmative, damaging act. This is not the case for you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    NO, get on with your life.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    Although you do not mention which state you live in or the state of residence for the deceased, I think a claim is unlikely in the majority of states.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    It would be difficult for anyone to prove that the sole reason a person killed themselves related to this situation. It would seem this person must have had some mental health issues. I would be surprised if you could be held liable in this setting.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    No, not unless you actually assisted in the suicide.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    No. not to worry.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    No. You owed him no duty at all, and in the absence of a duty, there is no negligence, hence no claim. In addition, you shouldn't blame yourself, which people who survive a family member's, friend's, relative's suicide frequently do, but the bottom line is the guy would have done it regardless of anything you did or didn't do. If it still bothers you, you might want to consider visiting a mental health counselor for a couple of visits. Don't worry about legal liability, just don't blame yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Horrible situation. Sorry to hear about it. There is no claim against you.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Extremely doubtful. I cannot think of a cause of action that could be brought against you. I am sorry to hear that someone is trying to lay a guilt trip on you for this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/16/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    No, you are not legally liable.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/16/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    There is no case against you. Do not worry.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 1/16/2011
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Sheldon J. Aberman
    Based upon those facts...no. However, that doesn't prevent his estate from filing a lawsuit against you. It merely means that such a suit would be meritless and should result in a dismissal.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/16/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney