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Farwell v. Keaton

Supreme Court of Michigan
240 N.W.2d 217 (1976)

Farwell v. Keaton


Siegrist (defendant) and Farwell drove to a parking lot to return a car, and then waited there for a friend. They saw two girls walk by the lot, and followed them down the street. When the girls complained to their friends, the friends chased Siegrist and Farwell, and severely beat Farwell. Siegrist found Farwell and applied an ice pack to his head. Siegrist then drove Farwell around for two hours, and Farwell fell asleep in the back of the car. Around midnight, Siegrist parked the car at Farwell’s grandparents’ house, tried unsuccessfully to wake Farwell, and then left, with Farwell still unconscious in the back of the car. Farwell was found the next morning and died of his injuries three days later. Farwell’s father (plaintiff) brought a wrongful death action, arguing that Siegrist knew that Farwell was badly injured, and that he would not have died if Siegrist had taken Farwell to the hospital or notified someone of his condition. The jury found for Farwell’s father, but the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Siegrist did not have an affirmative duty to aid Farwell, and that Siegrist did not know that Farwell needed medical assistance.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Levin, J.)

Dissent (Fitzgerald, J.)

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