Posts Tagged ‘Good Samaritan’

N.D.: no heightened duty of care for designated driver

Via Eugene Volokh, the Eighth Circuit has ruled [Hiltner v. Owners Insurance Co.] that a North Dakota trial court improperly assigned a heightened duty of care to a driver following an accident on the grounds that she had been a designated driver at a social outing. Noting contrary rulings in several jurisdictions, it ruled that North Dakota law would not impose such a heightened duty: as a Tennessee court observed in 2008, “[t]o hold a driver liable for the irresponsible actions of an intoxicated passenger would cut against this important social policy of encouraging the use of designated drivers.” More: T. Thomas Metier, Northland Injury Law.

“Tory blitz on compensation culture is revealed”

“Health and safety regulations which burden Britain and lead to good samaritans facing prosecution are to be swept away in a blitz on ‘compensation culture'”. Among the measures are rollbacks of liability for volunteers, emergency service responders and school recreation. “A coalition source said: ‘What we are determined to see is a great extension of personal freedom, at the same times as a rolling back both of the state and the power of the courts.'” [Telegraph]

March 9 roundup

  • “Attack on Inflatable Easter Bunny Might Be a Hate Crime” [Obscure Store; Westchester County, N.Y. Journal-News]
  • Unclear on the concept? Judge resigns from Ethics Commission and backdates her letter doing so [Hartford Courant]
  • Stephen Spruiell, Health Care Is Not a “Right” [NRO “Corner”]
  • Christopher Fountain: Proud to have switched from lawyer to realtor, at least I escaped being in the same profession as those Seattle water class-action guys [For What It’s Worth]
  • Why include Facebook as defendant in teenage “cyber-bullying” case? Ron Coleman has a theory [Likelihood of Confusion]
  • Bill protecting Good Samaritans from lawsuits passes California Assembly Judiciary committee [California Civil Justice]
  • Author/labor lawyer Tom Geoghegan had all the good writers on his side, so of course he lost big in replace-Rahm primary [Mickey Kaus, earlier]
  • Three pro wrestlers thrown out of court in employment suit against World Wrestling Entertainment [Daniel Schwartz, earlier]

February 16 roundup

  • “Texas Judge Orders 178 Anonymous ‘John Does’ Who Posted on Topix Be Revealed” [Citizen Media Law]
  • $4 billion lawsuit over racially insensitive Miley Cyrus eye gestures [Michelle Malkin,]
  • Update: “Tulsa World drops lawsuit after writer apologizes” [Romenesko/Tulsa World, earlier]
  • Also update: “Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of John Lott’s Libel Lawsuit Against Steven Levitt” [Volokh, earlier]
  • “M-I-C — Cease and desist! K-E-Y — Why? Because we caught you! M-O-U-S-E” [Ron Coleman]
  • California: “Another Step Toward Shielding Good Samaritans From Civil Damages” [Calif. Civil Justice Blog, more]
  • Montana lawmakers consider bill saying hazardous recreation goes on at your own risk [PoL]
  • Senior writer at Wired decides to go work for Wal-Mart, what he found departed from the Barbara Ehrenreich formula [BoingBoing]

January 17 roundup

January 6 roundup

  • Griffin Bell, Carter AG dead at 90, was (among much else) respected Democratic voice for litigation reform [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

  • “700,000 squiggles”: historic NY high court crackdown on trial lawyers’ pothole map [NYT; D’Onofrio v. City of New York slip op h/t reader Andrew Barovick; way back, City Journal]

  • Judge gets off pretty easy after her drunken crash into cop car [Hartford Courant via ChicTrib] Connecticut’s wild-n-crazy judiciary [Courant]

  • Follow the rules and seat Burris: National Journal quotes me in its bloggers’ poll [Illinois Senate appointment]

  • Legal history moment: Statute of Anne, 1710, turned copyright law into force for liberty [Cathy Gellis]

  • Blind editorial squirrel finds acorn: NY Times editorial on Calif good-Samaritan liability not half bad [yes, NYT]

  • “Win yourself a $50,000 bounty by busting a patent” [Forbes]

  • Dental student dismissed from University of Michigan wins $1.7 million from four profs, argued that claimed academic deficiencies were just ruse [ABA Journal]

California Good Samaritan ruling, cont’d

As mentioned yesterday, California’s Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 that the state’s “Good Samaritan” law providing tort immunity for rescuers applies only to medical personnel providing medical help at an emergency scene, and not to civilians. “Although the law does not distinguish between types of emergency care, the court majority said the context shows it was meant to be limited to medical care. The law was part of a package of legislation on emergency medical services, Justice Carlos Moreno said in the majority opinion.” (SF Chronicle). Unless you’ve got medical training, then, think twice about offering to help. Docbloggers have been discussing the decision since then, with GruntDoc siding with the dissent, SymTym countering on behalf of the majority, and Throckmorton reporting that even being on the right side of the law isn’t enough to provide reassurance nowadays: “Most of my colleagues are afraid to stop at the scene of an accident and render aid for fear of being sued. The Good Samaritan Law is supposed to prevent this fear of suits but no one seems to believe that it will offer any protection.”

P.S. Gleeful Gecko: “Never put out a burning Californian.”

Microblog 2008-12-19

  • Newest “Trial Lawyers Inc.” report is on Louisiana [Manhattan Institute, Point of Law]
  • Mel Weiss disbarred automatically w/strong language from judges [Matter of Weiss h/t @erwiest]
  • Pro se claimant: I wrote down cure for cancer and then the darn hospital stole it! [Above the Law]
  • “California Supreme Court Ruling May Deter Good Samaritans” [The Recorder; SF Chronicle with copious reader comments, GruntDoc, our coverage last year]
  • Due diligence on dodgy funds? Sometimes it seems everyone’s relying on someone else to do that [Bronte Capital] Madoff fraud may date to 1970s, maybe “recent laxity” angle has been overdone [Securities Docket] “Ponzi crawl” = pub crawl whereby new person is added at each location and has to buy a round [Re Risk]
  • Radley Balko on Julie Amero malware-prosecution story [Reason, earlier]
  • Join Paul Ehrlich in some of the world’s most famously refuted predictions, and you too may get to be Obama’s science adviser [John Tierney/NYT, John Holdren]
  • Wisconsin Minnesota pig-sitter trial set for March, claim is that defendant let star porker overfeed and gain a hundred pounds [LaCrosse Tribune h/t @kevinokeefe]
  • More on the Patent and Trademark Office “acceptable error” employment case [Venture Chronicles, Jeff Nolan; earlier]
  • Procter & Gamble “Satanism” case finally settles, soap giant got $19 million verdict against four Amway distributors who spread rumor [OnPoint News]
  • Once filing of a suit severs the channels of communication, attorneys and clients alike begin to make up “what really happened” narratives [Settle It Now]
  • Sometimes lawyers need to be formal. Don’t IM “Court denied your appeal u will b executed saturday thx” [Beck & Herrmann]
  • Bangladesh hoping to build replica of Taj Mahal despite copyright claims [Times Online h/t @mglickman]
  • Midnight regulations? “OMB Watch” vigilant (and with reason) during this R-2-D transition but sang different tune in 2000’s D-2-R [Gillespie, Reason]