As a Matter of Law, Suicide Generally Relieves a Defendant of Liability for Their Negligent Acts

A divided Georgia Supreme Court recently reversed the Court of Appeals, holding that Georgia law generally deems suicide as an unforeseeable intervening cause. City of Richmond Hill v. Maia, 800 S.E.2d 573 (2017). Following the death of her daughter, Laura Maia brought a wrongful death action against the mayor and city council of Richmond Hill and police officer Douglas Sahlberg. Maia’s daughter, Sydney Sanders, attempted suicide when she was 14 years old. Sahlberg, the responding officer, was sent to the hospital to investigate the injuries and take photographs. When he returned home he showed the photographs to his daughter, who attended school with Sanders, and disseminated the photog

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