AUGUSTA, Maine (CN) – A woman and her mother are not liable for wrongful death in the case of a murder-suicide involving the woman’s current and former boyfriends, the Maine Supreme Court ruled.
Samantha Carson’s former boyfriend, Zachary Fenderson, killed Carson’s boyfriend,, Lionel St. Hilaire, before turning the gun on himself.
St. Hilaire’s mother, Kelly DeCambra, alleged at Carson and her mother, Kimberly, owed St. Hilare a duty of care, since the shootings took place in the Carsons’ home.
“There is no general obligation to protect others from the actions of third parties,” Justice Silver ruled, “even where one knows the third party is or could be dangerous.”
The only exception to the rule is if the defendant and the third party have a disparate, master-servant relationship, which does not apply in this case.