A three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that Mission Hospital in Asheville cannot be held liable for its decision not to commit a mentally disturbed patient who ended up shooting family members and killing himself.

In an opinion that leads with quotations from Rousseau and Aristotle, the court explained that the hospital never had custody or control over the patient. Because of those facts, the hospital could not take legal blame for actions taken by that patient after the hospital recommended against involuntary commitment for mental health treatment.

The case stemmed from the case of Joshua McArdle, a troubled Iraq War veteran who shot his brother and father, then killed himself in front of his mother and three sisters in 2013.