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.

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.

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.

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

-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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