Does the plaintiff have to be owed duty of care for negligence to become liable?

Asked over 1 year ago - Columbus, OH

Let's say the plaintiff (A) is filing a lawsuit against B. B breached a duty of care for one of his customers, which happens to be a relative of A. Let's call that relative C; and C ends up in hospital because of some rather serious injuries - which then results in a coma.
A is unsure if liability of negligence applies to his case since B did not owe A a duty of care, but to C.
Yet, since C isn't the plaintiff and cannot file the lawsuit because of his current vegetative state, would A still be eligible to say B enacted negligence in A's lawsuit?

I have personally heard that liability for negligence only works if the plaintiff is owed the duty of care; never have I heard that when the plaintiff representing someone else.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If A is a guardian, then he steps into C's shoes.

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  2. George Costas Andriotis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Someone would need to file suit on C's behalf. A spouse would qualify to do so or a parent if C was a minor. If neither applies than someone would need to petition to be C's guardian.

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  3. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Negligence requires four elements, duty, breach, cause and harm in its most basic fundamental analysis. This is a marketing and informational website. My recommendation is to take this out of the hypothetical and to consult with an attorney. I do not believe duty is the issue here, but rather authority.

    Here's more: [Blue Link Below]

    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only.... more
  4. Michael Lewis Eisner

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . It is impossible to answer based on this hypothetical. You should consult with a reputable personal injury attorney. In Ohio, a probate court can appoint a guardian over somebody who is not competent (i.e. in a chronic vegitative state) to act on the incompetent person's behalf.

  5. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Someone like A can apply to court to be appointed either Guardian ad Litem for the incompetent party that was injured, or conservator of the person.

    Then A sues in a representative capacity.

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