Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Good Samaritans Sue Accident Victim They Saved

Example screenshot of the Drudge Report front ...Image via WikipediaYesterday, I was checking out some headlines on The Drudge Report when I saw a headline that caught my eye.  The headline read "Two men suing woman they rescued from burning vehicle."  My curiosity was piqued so I clicked on the link to read the story.

Two men were driving through Marion County Ohio when they came upon an accident scene.  They found a Hummer that had gone down an embankment and was in flames.  The two men bravely ran to the vehicle and were able to rescue the woman inside from the flaming vehicle.

Unfortunately, the two men suffered permanent, disabling injuries while extricating her from the burning Hummer.  They are now suing her for damages because of the injuries that they suffered.  It turns out that the accident occurred because she may have been trying to kill herself.

Ohio has a Good Samaritan law that would have protected the two men should anything have gone wrong in their rescue attempt.  The Columbus Dispatch article linked above goes on to say that in tort law the concept of the Rescue Doctrine states that rescuers can sue for damages if it can be shown that the person being rescued was in the predicament because of negligent actions.

While there is legal precedent for the two men to sue for their injuries, there is something about this that doesn't feel right to me.  I do sympathize with the men for their suffering, but when you run headlong into a dangerous situation like they did, you assume the risk of potential injury.  Hopefully, the affected parties can reach some sort of settlement.  
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