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Old 12-22-2008, 06:22 PM   #30
Darth Avlectus
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Current Game: Poisoning pigeons in the park.
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Originally Posted by SW01 View Post
Yep, just about!
Oh fun...

Now bear in mind that this is English, not US, law.
Precisely why I asked! Thank you for indulging me.

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Originally Posted by SW01 View Post
It isn't so much that the law is confused, it is more that it lacks clarity, precision.
Yes, it is rather ambiguous. Frustrating and time consuming...which ought to put grey hairs on your head under normal circumstances forcing your way through boredom...and even more grey hairs under stress, pressed for time and $$$!

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Originally Posted by SW01 View Post
Liability for rescue centres on proving that the rescuer's actions were not forseeable or 'natural and probable' in the circumstances. Actions of a rescuer are generally treated as foreeable, and courts take into account a 'heat of the moment' mentality on the part of the rescuer. So you can see how a careless action won't always be enough.
Indeed. A subtle, yet vital, factor that ought to be considered *every* time.
It also separates, by large part the reasonable from unreasonable.

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Originally Posted by SW01 View Post
The tests that have been offered over the last 60 years are very imprecise, though. They call on the judge's opinion, really. The leading authority over here again uses vague language - forseeability; natural and probable result - which the judge (Lord Justice Stephenson) himself said would be a matter of opinion. That needs to be clarified, perhaps even by the Government by passing a law.
While precariousness can be bad, I would say to take just as much (if not greater) CARE when enacting laws. Make absolutely sure it won't be a double edged sword that comes back to haunt you--or at least reduce the possibility of "getting cut" and dull the proverbial edges. Then again, I think you already know that.

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Originally Posted by SW01 View Post
No. In the 1970s we had one of the highest-ranked judges in the land who was quite keen on extending liability in every direction (Lord Wilberforce). His Lordship didn't seem to get near rescuer's liability, though.
While I'm all about indiscriminantly scathing politicians at every possible point, I see how that sort of mentalitycould be bad--especially here which is why I even brought it up.

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Originally Posted by SW01 View Post
On the blaim and claim/compensation culture front, our courts have recently been getting badly bashed - mainly by the media, it must be said - for letting too many absurd claims through. There are a few very notable cases where ridiculous claims nearly got through, but in the most recent rulings, the Lords of Appeal (highest ranking judges) were clear that things would be tightened up, that things had gone to far for their liking. Which is good.
Well that's good to hear. Unfortunately, I doubt if the mainstream is really on the people's side. It could be on a more local level, but nationally...that's still up in the air.

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Originally Posted by SW01 View Post
If that is a ruling in support of rescuer's liability, courts will probably have the chance to elaborate upon it soon enough - maybe impose some limits on it before a mass of overzealous claims come in for people suing the person that rescued them. (It really does sound absurd, no?)
Absurd indeed.
Yeah, since there are so many everywhere--the type of litigious sharks and ambulance chasers everyone dreads even more than Darth Vader--it would be a good idea.

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Originally Posted by SW01 View Post
I think most judges are reasonable enough - it's when you get a jury in the mix that things can go strange (which, I believe, is how the US civil suit system functions?) Certainly, that's what a government task force here had to say of the US system in comparison to ours. (For anyone interested: BRTF report 2004 - page 16 particularly for US/UK comparison)
We get a mix of judges, so in some cases a jury is actually better.
On another matter entirely, a jury could be a good thing...IE a parent "eliminates" his/her child's "attacker"... Prosecuted. I think any good parent would do it for their child and I do not believe personally that a parent should be found guilty.

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Originally Posted by SW01 View Post
I can't really speak for the US position on that, but from EW's link, it seems possible enough. We have a relatively long standing principle that a person cannot be held liable for failure to discharge a moral duty to rescue. (Lord Macaulay's Works)
In cases of idiocy and causing damage I think we all agree such should be punished. Though it also seems, too, that we all agree upon how bad it might be to have laws discouraging helping out.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
Anything that would contribute to driving people away from helping for fear of litigation is BAD.
The general consensus. I'm glad to see you say that. How many Agree? I agree.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
I don't know all the facts in this case (i.e. was the Good Samaritan someone licensed in some medical profession, was there fear the car was on fire, would the lady have been paralyzed anyway due to the accident, etc.). The US is an insane patchwork of state Good Sam laws, some very good, some only adequate, some rather poor. Canada has a much better set of laws on Good Samaritan help.
Something needs to change--for better.
Actually, the same news article I referenced spoke also (mainly featured) of a case where a car was in a flood. A (river?) bridge overpass gave only enough clearance for the lower part of the car to go through and wedge in. the pressure of the flowing river continually pushing on the frame of the car against the bridge was crushing the upper part. The man passing by on the bridge pulled the daughter and mother out the car to safety. Just in the nick of time. The upper frame was crushed and would have no doubt killed them had they remained inside. Obviously okay and in fact encouraged good sam. in this case.



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Originally Posted by jonathan7 View Post
That if you are not trained; help and cause someone great harm, you deserve to get sued. i.e. if someone moved me when I didn't need to be moved and left me a paraplegic, I would sue. However if ambulance staff moved me, and I was left so, the assumption would be there was no other option.
Ah. TY!

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Originally Posted by JediMaster12 View Post
I know that it has been mentioned before and I thought to offer my thoughts. Since I don't know the facts of the case, I couldn't tell you if it was right or wrong for the guy to move the lady from the car. As Qliveur said, if the car were on fire or something like that then the right thing to do would be to pull the person away otherwise that would open a can of worms that would be unavoidable.

If the person wasn't in any emminent danger, then the best thing to do would be to call emergency services and wait for rescue. I have heard of the phrase "leave it to the professionals" and in the case of emergencies like that , it would be prudent to obey.
Another one for the record.

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Originally Posted by JediMaster12 View Post
I have mixed feelings regarding suing since I think a lot of it is ridiculous nowadays. I will concede that there are legitimate claims like negligence which could lead to criminal charges but suing for emotional distress to me is nothing more than a get rich quick scheme. Yeah a person could get emotional distress, even I could but I don't go sue happy. It's funny how here in the states we have so many privileges like the right to sue yet we prefer to abuse them with ridiculous claims that more often work. Heck it makes the "Twinkie defense" the lesser of two evils.
Yeah. I hate it too, how we the people are abusing our powers (of court) in an irresponsible manner, and yet I find the most litigious of friends and family are quickest to jump on it when corporations or government abuse their power (in any way minor or major). Ironic how such a double standard exists--like they can do no wrong when they themselves are just as guilty of power abuse.

Oh, I absolutely agree.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
Paralysis > dead from car explosion. Hitting a light pole at 45 mph might well have been the proximal cause of the paralysis anyway.

I can't believe the court is letting this go forward. Oh, wait--it's California.
You know, I completely failed to consider that. Thanks Jae.

(sigh) Yeah, welcome to the jungle I live in. Living in a bi-state town it can approach pure lunacy. Even cops often don't want to have anything to do with out of state DUI--they mostly say the same thing..."Spend my whole night filling out paper work? "Flock" that!"

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Originally Posted by mur'phon View Post
Well, it's not like cars usually explode when they crash. That said, if the rescuer believes it's going to blow, they shouldn't be sentenced, as that would be punishing lack of knowledge.
That arguement would be pitted against common sense. However, heat of the moment is a consideration too...as well as numerous other factors...
In most cases, a lack of knowledge is not necessarily gross negligence or stupidity or a lack of common sense. Again depends upon a number of factors.


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Last edited by Darth Avlectus; 12-22-2008 at 06:23 PM. Reason: forgot the word CARE
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