I voluntarily saved your life! Now pay up!

I did a search and did not see any thread on this.

Story here

Two guys see a woman in a burning vehicle, rescue her, and are now suing for $25,000 a piece for physical and emotional damages.

Not that I don’t feel bad for these two, but no-one put a gun to their head and made them rescue her.

Would there be a Good Samaritan law in that area that might protect her? Or does that only stop her from suing THEM?

This article makes it sound like they started blaming her for it after finding out she was attempting suicide: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43990511/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/#.TjitSnb-SkI

I think it’s absurd. They chose to save her.

Ok, I have a question - are they actually suing her or her insurance company? If it’s the latter (and assuming she would be covered for intentional dumb-assery) that actually seems sort of reasonable to me. I mean, you have insurance to cover yourself and anyone you injure if you drive like a dumb-ass. It seems to me this would qualify.

Honestly, if the men are as injured as they say they are (and I really have no reason to disbelieve that being that close to a burning car could cause pretty nasty burns and lung damage), they probably deserve to recover something, even if she hadn’t been trying to off herself.

I realize things are different in Canada, where health care costs would not be a factor, but I have to think that if I were rescued from a burning car and I found out after my rescuers were suffering hardship because of it, I would certainly try to contribute something to reduce that.

Good question. The articles I saw say they are suing her, but they might be suing the insurance.

Yeah, one of the unfortunate side effects of not having a national health care system is that injured people sometimes wind up suing out of desperation to pay their medical bills.

They must not have private insurance if that’s the case.

They say it’s her fault, so if it was an accident and not a suicide attempt then they wouldn’t sue? Somehow I’m thinking they still would.

It’s funny. I don’t feel quiet as bad if they are suing her insurance, in fact, it’s doubtful she has $50,000 so they must be, but still, putting yourself in a dangerous situation that no-one asked you to and then suing for damages…

I’m a tiny bit torn now about how I feel.

I can’t read the article, but gathering from this discussion it sounds like she tried to kill herself, and the people who came to her aid ended up suffering harm as a result of the rescue. In my opinion, it’s quite appropriate to hold her responsible for the harm suffered by her rescuers in that circumstance. Even if it had been an accident instead of a suicide attempt, if the accident had been her fault she ought to be liable for damages to her rescuers.

Even if they were under no obligation and did it totally voluntarily?


Sorry, that wasn’t enough explanation.

Say she hadn’t tried to kill herself, but set a fire just for fun. Some bystanders happened to see the fire, and came to put it out even though they had no obligation to do so. If one of the people who tried to put the fire out had been hurt in this hypothetical fire, would you consider the arsonist to be liable for the damage done to him? If so, why is it different just because the dangerous condition was a suicide attempt?

Ohio recognizes the rescue doctrine, so the “but they didn’t have to rescue her” defense wouldn’t work in a court.

This is why it’s generally forbidden to discuss whether or not a defendant has insurance in a court trial. There are apparently enough people willing to say “it’s an insurance company, who cares, f*** 'em!” that it would be a problem.

Let’s say she’s goofing around and inadvertently gets herself in trouble. Then yes, I probably would side with the two good good Samaritans suing her.

As for why not in this case, well, I intent should play a part sometimes. The only person she endangered was herself, on purpose. Not that I don’t think they shouldn’t have saved her, and if their own insurance won’t pay for their medical needs then it doesn’t really bother me if her insurance pays.

Well, guess they’re legally in the clear then.

Well, I’m not saying, “…who cares, f*** 'em!” I don’t feel like that.

And it’s kind of funny when you think about it. Someone who tries to kill them-self gets rescued and sued. Now, not only are all the things that made them want to kill them-self probably still present, but now they’re $50,000 in debt on top of it.

I don’t understand your reasoning here. Are you saying that if she needed help because of an accident she should be liable for damages done to her rescuers, but if she needed help because of a deliberate act she shouldn’t be liable?

Did she start a fire or not? Like I said in my first post, the link is broken for me so I can’t get details of the case.

See if this works.

From lavenderviolet’s link,

So yeah, it looked like her intentionally crashing into the guardrail caused the fire.

Okay, I read the case, and now I’m even more convinced of my position. She caused an accident which hurt bystanders, who were acting completely reasonably by pulling her out of the burning vehicle. The fact that it was a suicide attempt is actually completely irrelevant, in my opinion.

I agree - if it really was a suicide attempt then that does change things. I’d be pretty pissed if I risked my ass to save someone’s life only to find out they were trying to fuck themselves up on purpose. It’s negligent, destructive behavior on the part of the would-be suicidee. Of course they didn’t have to help, but they chose to undertake that risk on the extremely reasonable assumption that they were helping.