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  1. Regarding Good Samaritan laws/lawsuits:

    I was trained in CPR and first aid multiple times over the years and was specifically taught that a non-medical-professional was protected by Good Samaritan laws with an unresponsive or willing victim in an emergency situation. Yesterday people said this was not true.

    Can anyone give me an example of a lawsuit recorded against anyone rendering first aid who did not fall into one of these categories.

    Police officer
    First Responder/EMT/Nurse/PA/MD
    Person in a public position who might be trained and expected to render aid. (Maybe flight attendant or ???)

    I am looking for Joe Carpenter/Janitor/Computer Programmer/non-medical military member/etc. who was sued for botching the rendering of aid at a car crash/heart attack scene/fall scene/etc. that they happen upon on the way home from work or something.

    First hand accounts or specific reputable online sources please. No brothers, cousins or friends. No vague article about the rise of lawsuits unless they include specific cases. I would like to read about solid evidence that a rank “civilian” (for lack of a better term) is putting themselves at legal risk rendering aid.

    I ask this because in the training I have received they specifically stated that there were none that the instructors were aware of and that this should not deter a person from rendering aid should they be willing. They also said it was a different story for medical personnel or others listed above who may be expected to render aid in their “day jobs”.

    Thing could have changed of course and I would like to know.

    1. JBH, I have been trained that Good Samaritan laws vary greatly by state. There have been recent lawsuits earlier this year in the California (UGH) supreme court that required a change in the good samaritan law. In the case, the good samaritan moved an injured person from a vehicle they were worried might catch fire and resulted in the victim becoming paralyzed. According to the original law, as determined by the court, moving the victim was not “medical care” and therefore not covered under the good samaritan law. Now, depending on the situation I might have done something similar. I was trained to establish scene safety prior to working on a patient. Apparently in Commie-fornia, this could open me up to lawsuit. Luckily, I don’t go there very often.


      1. Interesting article.

        Several thoughts.

        1. Apparently I was trained incorrectly regarding Good Samaritan protection. It looks as if the law spoken of was probably in effect when I was taught that but then later modified to provide more but not universal protection.

        2. Apparently I was trained correctly about moving people. All of my training has always said to not move anyone unless they are in imminent danger and you absolutely have to. This woman apparently thought the victim was in imminent danger when she was not. Hard to judge if this was a reasonable call or not. Why did she think a car fire was imminent? Was her concern reasonable or not? What kind of training had she received? Was the victim conscious and protesting or approving the movement? Lots of unanswered questions that would tell you if this woman acted reasonably or stupidly. Should the law protect the stupid Good Samaritan? That is a hard call, because who determines who is stupid? But you don’t want people running around doing stupid things and harming people. But you don’t want to dissuade people from helping others. But…UGH!

        3. I notice it was a split decision with the judges. Hard to say why on that issue. They came down on the technicality that the movement was not an act of medical aid but was that the real reason? Were they really just supporting some ambulance chaser? Or did they think a wantonly stupid act harmed someone unnecessarily and it had to be addressed? Or did they really get wrapped around the axle on the technicality?

        4. It says the victim sued. But did they really? Or did the victims insurance company sue? Sometimes that is the case. Happened to my sister and brother-in-law years ago when two motorcyclists rear ended them and one died. They were husband and wife. The wife died after racking up nearly a million in medical bills. The husband testified for my sister and brother-in-law at trial when the insurance company sued but they still lost. My sister and brother-in-law actually just went bankrupt and in the end lost no money, but then the insurance company could write off the loss was my understanding.

        I also have heard that lawsuits that do not seem reasonable in the news are sometimes reasonable when you have the details. The infamous McDonalds spilled hot coffee lawsuit of several years back was supposedly one. (This is hearsay from a friend.) Reportedly the woman was given the coffee in a cold drink cup instead of a coffee cup, which then disintegrated in her hand and lap and really did burn her pretty good. Then she was reportedly treated very badly by McDonalds (corporate or local I don’t know) when she complained which then prompted her to sue. When the suit was complete her share of the multimillion dollar award was in the tens of thousands I believe. So I have heard anyway.

        I think this incident would make me very careful about rendering aid but I don’t know if it would stop me or not. It would sure make me think. It does heavily emphasize that you need to be very careful to be trained well and follow your training to the letter.

        Thanks for the info.

  2. Unfortunately, an EMT course is expensive and far away. I have sucessfully performed CPR on my dog after he had what I believe was a heart attack. He lived almost another year after that. Chest compressions is all it took to bring him back. This stuff works!

  3. Splurge $.50 at the next yard sale, and pick up a pre-1972 Boy Scout Handbook, and study the first aid instructions and pictures.

    1) Before the Scouts turned “faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabulous” :roll:, they actually knew what they were doing back in the day. The handbook editions of the 1960’s were printed in the 4 million + copy range, as the baby boomers came through the program. A “serviceably used” copy could still be had for $.50 in recent years. Fork over an extra buck or two if necessary because…

    2) They are written and illustrated so a 12 year old boy could understand them. Granted, a 12 yo in the ’60’s, was smarter than a 32 yo Anqueefa living in mommy’s basement TODAY… but you get the picture, which therefore makes them…

    3) Suitable for the WHOLE family to learn first aid from! Splurge another buck, and pick up a Boy Scout Fieldbook from that same era while you’re at it. Printed in slightly fewer copies than the Handbook, these are ALSO useful for learning/teaching fieldcraft, edible wild plants, learning basic weather patterns, animal tracking, etc. In fact…

    4) I keep a copy of each in my BoB(s). In those long, lonely, weeks in-between fighting off the golden horde, & chopping firewood (ALWAYS chopping firewood…), the skills taught in both can make for a basic child primer, and give them TONS of activities to keep busy, that are a) GOOD to know b) helpful to the household, & c) exciting, stimulating, & good exercise for growing, inquisitive, little ones, post-SHTF.

    Since 1960’s era Scouts couldn’t go on-line, and order their pre-fab IFAK from Amazon, you’ll find out just HOW simply and inexpensively an effective first aid kit can be built, from rudimentary household items.

    And give thanks, that our fathers and grandfathers were more interested in teaching self-reliance and basic preparedness, than political… “correctness”… 🙄

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