April 28, 2007, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
An interesting case from British Columbia where a person was injured while trying to help physically push a car off the road that had run out of gas. While the good samaritan was pushing the car the samaritan caused permanent damage to the tendon in his right leg. The samaritan took the position that because he acted as a rescuer to the stranded vehicle then the motorist is responsible for any injury that he suffered while assisting. The court reveiwed the case law and agreed that a rescuer is entitle to claim damages from a negligent person who creates a risky situation that invites rescue. The court noted that the driver was negligent for running out of gas and stalling the vehicle in traffic. However, the court also noted that in this particular situation there was not a situation of risk that was sufficiently serious to consider the samaritan as a rescuer. The driver’s vehicle was not in a collision, noone was trapped in the vehicle, and no other vehicles were attempting to pass or were in danger. There was no situation of imminent peril that would warrant treating the samaritan as a rescuer. The situation did not warrant an immediate response, but rather the samaritan had time to consider the situation, make a free choice and assess the risks. The samaritan was not considered a rescuer and therefore not entitled to damages for the injury suffered.
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