CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Brief Fact Summary. Before the deadly blaze which erupted in the night, Welansky (D), owner of a nightclub failed to proffer solutions to curtail the serious fire hazards which existed.
Issue. the conviction of manslaughter may be based on omissions as well as affirmative acts.
Held. (Lummus, J.) Yes. The conviction of manslaughter may be based on omissions as well as on affirmative acts. Wanton or reckless conduct which results in homicide are what constitute involuntary manslaughter. In this case, Welansky (D) was duty bound to provide safety for his patrons. This failure of his was found by the jury to have gone beyond negligence into recklessness. The record is in agreement with the numerous safety hazards that existed in the club. The ruling of the trial court was affirmed.
Discussion. Among jurisdictions for supporting manslaughter, the “wanton and reckless” standard is a common one. It is worse than a mere failure to act reasonably, but this does not mean that it portrays an intentional conduct. It is often referred to as a conscious disregard of a determined risk.