Tuesday, October 25, 2011

McCoy v. American Suzuki Motor Corp. case brief

McCoy v. American Suzuki Motor Corp.
Subject: Obligations to rescuers. Analysis of the duty owed to a rescuer by one whose conduct places a person in peril.

FACTS
Car built by Pl. swerved off roadway and rolled. Pl. stopped to assist, finding driver injured. Placed flares on road, thought was insufficient, manually directed traffic with a flare in each hand, on way back Pl. was hit by a car (hit and run).
Pl. claims that car was defectively designed, defects caused the accident, injured while a rescuer w/i purview of the “rescue doctrine” and Def. should be liable for injuries.

RULES
Rescue Doctrine: Allows an injured rescuer to sue the party which caused the danger requiring the rescue in the first place.
“danger invites rescue”
-Informs a tort-feasor it is foreseeable a rescuer will come to the aid of the person imperiled by tortfeasor’s actions, and, therefore, the tortfeasor owes the rescuer a duty similar to the duty he owes the person he imperils.
-To achieve rescuer status, one must demonstrate:
1. Def. was negligent to person rescued, negligence caused peril or appearance of peril to person rescued.
2. The peril/appearance of peril was imminent.
3. A reasonably prudent person would have concluded such peril or appearance of peril existed; and,
4. The rescuer acted with reasonable care in effectuating the rescue.

APPLICATION
-The rescuer must still show the Def. proximately caused his injures.

CONCLUSION
-Fault of Def. not so remote from injuries that liability should be cut off as a mater of law.
-Will not dismiss for lack of causation, remanded for trial.

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