I’m not sure this is the “lawsuits gone wild” case some people are making it out to be. Seems like a much tougher call to me.
Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, the state’s high court on Thursday said a would-be Good Samaritan accused of rendering her friend paraplegic by pulling her from a wrecked car “like a rag doll” can be sued.
Alexandra Van Horn was in the front passenger seat of a car that slammed into a light pole at 45 mph on Nov. 1, 2004, according to her negligence lawsuit.
Torti was a passenger in a car that was following behind the vehicle and stopped after the crash. Torti said when she came across the wreck she feared the car was going to explode and pulled Van Horn out. Van Horn testified that Torti pulled her out of the wreckage “like a rag doll.” Van Horn blamed her friend for her paralysis.
Whether Torti is ultimately liable is still to be determined, but Van Horn’s lawsuit can go forward, the Supreme Court ruled.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume Torti’s actions caused Van Horn’s paralysis, and that the car wasn’t actually on fire (meaning there was no imminent threat to Van Horn’s life). Should Torti’s obviously good intent allow her to duck liability? We want to encourage good Samaritans, but do we want to encourage reckless good Samaritans.
I’m really not sure, here. What say you, Agitator readers?