I cannot believe this is happening in a civilized society (even California):
The ruling stems from a case in which a woman pulled a crash victim from a car ‘like a rag doll,’ allegedly aggravating a vertebrae injury.
By Carol J. Williams
December 19, 2008
Being a good Samaritan in California just got a little riskier.
The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a young woman who pulled a co-worker from a crashed vehicle isn’t immune from civil liability because the care she rendered wasn’t medical.
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.
This will have a chilling effect on all Good Samaritans, and not just in California.
In case you didn’t get the message, here’s a Professor of Constitutional and Bioethics Law at USC:
Noting that he would be reluctant himself to step in to aid a crash victim with potential spinal injuries, Shapiro said the court’s message was that emergency care "should be left to medical professionals."
(Also, fires should only be fought by Firemen, so be sure and let your neighbor’s house burn down; don’t keep the mugger from beating the old lady, law enforcement is for the Police only, etc).
Did this Professor of Law not think about the lives saved by CPR every year, and how this will be interpreted by them? Bystander CPR, and the heroic actions of many a Good Samaritan, are endangered by decisions like this. That trust in your fellow man, and a belief that government is run by reasonable people, is perishable. This kind of ruling will kill it, for good. Horrible.
Prepare to burn to death in your car as people drive by, unwilling to be victimized by a legal class without scruples and a society without morals
I sincerely hope there’s an appeal, to benefit at least good sense if not human decency.
Update: HotAir got the same message:
The court has sent a signal to the people of California: don’t get involved. If someone’s drowning, don’t jump in the lake and save them. If someone’s trapped in a car that’s about to explode, sit there and watch the show. Just make a phone call, and who cares that it might be several minutes before an EMS team can make it to the scene? If you sit on your hands, no one can sue you for all you’re worth.
Predictably, their post is better than mine, making the same points and others, so make sure you read it all.