YOU BE THE JUDGE
Paul was driving on Route 507 between Hawley and Greentown at approximately 11:00 on Saturday night. As Paul rounded a sharp turn, he quickly noticed a vehicle on its’ roof with extensive damage and partially blocking the opposite lane. Paul immediately called 911 and reported the accident and then got out of his vehicle. He noticed what appeared to be the driver partially ejected from the vehicle.
Paul raced over to the driver and noticed that the driver was unconscious and bleeding profusely. Without hesitation, Paul pulled the driver out of the vehicle and carried him over to the side of the road and out of harm’s way. Within several minutes the EMT’s arrived and started rendering first aid to the injured driver.
ISSUE: As it turned out, the driver had sustained a broken neck. There was an allegation that moving the driver, as Paul did, aggravated the injury which ultimately caused the driver to be a quadriplegic. The family of the injured driver inquired as to whether there would be liability against Paul.
ANSWER: No. In Pennsylvania, any person who renders emergency care, first aid or rescue at the scene of an emergency, or moves the person receiving such care…shall not be liable to any such person for any civil damages as a result of any acts or admissions in rendering the emergency care, first aid or rescue. Paul was acting as a good Samaritan and if anything his actions should be applauded.
Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.