Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The divided high court appeared to signal that rescue efforts are the responsibility of trained professionals. It was also thought to be the first ruling by the court that someone who intervened in an accident in good faith could be sued.

Lisa Torti of Northridge allegedly worsened the injuries suffered by Alexandra Van Horn by yanking her "like a rag doll" from the wrecked car on Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

Torti now faces possible liability for injuries suffered by Van Horn, a fellow department store cosmetician who was rendered a paraplegic in the accident that ended a night of Halloween revelry in 2004.
Ah yes, rescue efforts are the responsibility of the trained professional. Of course, the trained professional may not be present when you're burning to death in a car crash or the LEO isn't there when your house is being invaded, but we can only rely on professionals.
Torti testified in a deposition that she saw smoke and liquid coming from Watson's vehicle and feared the car was about to catch fire. None of the others reported seeing signs of an imminent explosion, and Van Horn said in her deposition that Torti grabbed her arm and yanked her out "like a rag doll."
This still requires that the Samaritan use some intelligence as to what is really needed. How to make that decision though is difficult. And if you do wait to long and the car does catch fire, are you then going to take the risk of going into a fire to save them? Makes me wonder if the lawyers even considered that. I'm going to go my usual way and doubt it. Of course with all the good hollywood training people get on how cars explode all the time when they crash I suppose this woman thought she was doing the right thing.

I suppose now if you deem to assist, you best stop and think long and hard about whether you should. And then once the person is safe, it probably is a good idea just to sneak away and hope no one got your license plate number or a picture of you.

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