Good Samaritan Can Be Sued. Bad Judgment?

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From the Digital Journal.

By: Carol Forsloff.

Someone is stuck in a car at risk for explosion or plunged into a river where the occupant is in danger. If you decide to play a Good Samaritan and rescue someone, you could be sued for doing it according to the decision of the California Supreme Court.

People are outraged about the fact that the Court decided that those who provide non-medical assistance can be sued if injuries result. But do we know all the facts and is the rush-to-judgment public reaction justified?

This recent case, presently debated in the press and by the public, develops from a decision made by the court about the rights of an accident victim to sue for injuries received when someone removed her from a vehicle that had been badly damaged after an automobile accident involving an automobile carrying a group of people going home from work. The Court declared that a Good Samaritan who pulled a co-worker out of the damaged car can be sued for her actions because the care she provided wasn’t medical. Northridge resident Lisa Torti maintains that her injuries were worsened by the actions of Alexandria Van Horn who allegedly yanked her “like a rag doll” from the car that had crashed on Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

This Good Samaritan issue has caused serious outcry from people around the country, which appears to be reasonable; but there may be elements of the case that people don’t know. However, given what has happened with other sensational cases, perhaps it might be reasonable to reserve judgment about it until all the facts are known. It’s easy to become emotional over something where only the rough outlines of the case are been presented, so responsible experts suggest that everyone wait until case conclusions, before deciding whether the Court made the right decision or not. One famous case gives an example of how a rush-to-judgment response can be wrong.

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