Jones v. U.S.

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Jones v. U.S.
Date decided


Jones was supposed to be caring for a 10-month-old infant. Jones neglected to do so and the baby died.

Procedural History

D was found guilty initially


can Jones be found liable?


Only if he was being paid to care for the infant.


Reversed and remanded


Legal duty for care must be found. There are 4 possible scenarios in which this legal duty can be found:

  1. statute imposes duty
  2. one stands on a certain status relationship to another
  3. one has assumed a contractual duty to care for another
  4. one has voluntarily assumed the care of another and so secluded the helpless person as to prevent others from rendering aid.
Scenario #3 is the only possible one under which Jones could be found liable. If trial ct. finds that he was in a contract to care for the infant, then he is liable for its death.


Lower court must find out if there was a contract (written, oral, or implied) to care for the infant.