Friday, November 30, 2007

Statements or Acts of Acquaintances as Unforeseen Intervening Cause of Suicide Attempt

This example (and here) illustrates the necessity of discovering every conversation and interaction between the last contact of the defendant with the suicider, and the attempt. Those are the more proximate and the legal causation of the death or injury. They interrupt the chain of causation and end the claim.

Discovery should explore acts and statements of people in all the settings of the suicider. Trivial adverse events may set off an impulsive person. These do not have to be frustrating to the reasonable person. The suicider is not a reasonable person, by definition. In half the cases, the suicider is intoxicated.

The defendant cannot reasonably foresee, nor control the statements of others, cannot control the over-reaction of the suicider, most of whom have a psychiatric disorder, half of whom are intoxicated.

Intoxication, and its adverse effects on relationships, conduct, and reactions to others, is itself, an unforeseen, intentional, uncontrollable intervening cause.

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