Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Lehigh County Court Rules that One Spouse Not Liable for Assault on Third Person By Other Spouse

In the Lehigh County case of Mantone v. Laughlin, 58 Leh. L.J. 145 (C.P. Leh. Co. Aug. 7, 2018), the court ruled that a cause of action does not exist against a spouse of a person who violently assaulted a third party. 

The court ruled that, since the spouse owed no duty of care to protect that third party from actions by her husband, the spouse had no liability towards that party. 

The court ruled in this regard despite allegations of knowledge on the part of the Defendant spouse that her husband, who had assaulted the Plaintiff, had engaged in past violence and had failed to take his psychiatric medication. The court also rejected the allegation that the spouse failed to assist her husband in recommencing taking medication.  

In light of its rulings that one spouse owed no duty to third parties to protect them from negligent conduct by the other spouse under the facts presented, the court granted the Defendant's Preliminary Objections and dismissed the Plaintiff's Complaint.

Anyone wishing to review this Opinion may click this LINK.

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