Skip to main content
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

Defendant Entitled to Governmental Immunity Under Narrow Definition of Proximate Cause

By FindLaw Staff on April 13, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Smith v. County of Lenawee, No. 09-1703, concerned an action brought by a deceased plaintiff's estate against a county and various agents of the county sheriff's department and department of corrections for the death of the plaintiff while in custody of the sheriff's department. 

As stated in the decision: "[T]he facts show that Smith had been experiencing DT symptoms for close to forty-eight hours prrior to Moore's arrival at the jail, that a physician had been notified of Smith's condition, that jail officials were told to monitor Smith, and that Moore was present at the jail for a matter of minutes only."

Thus in applying the facts to Michigan's narrow definition of proximate cause for the purposes of governmental immunity, which is defined as "the one most immediate, efficient, and direct cause preceding an injury," the court reversed the district court's denial of defendant-parole agent's motion for summary judgment as his actions were not the proximate cause of plaintiff's death and is thus entitled to governmental immunity.

Related Resource:

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard