Sunday, November 10, 2013

Minnich v. Med-Waste, Inc. case brief

Minnich v. Med-Waste, Inc. case brief summary
564 S.E.2d 98 (2002)

On certification from the United States District Court, the Supreme Court of South Carolina considered: does the firefighter's rule bar an emergency professional, such as a firefighter, police officer, or public safety officer, who is injured as a result of performing his or her duties, from recovering tort-based damages from the party whose negligence caused the injury?

The Supreme Court of South Carolina held that South Carolina has never recognized the firefighter's rule, and found that it was not part of the state's common law. The tort law of the state adequately addressed negligence claims brought against non-employer tortfeasors arising out of injuries incurred by firefighters and police officers during the discharge of their duties.

  • The Supreme Court of South Carolina was not persuaded by any of the various rationales advanced by other states' courts that recognized the firefighter's rule. 
  • The more sound public policy, adopted by the Supreme Court of South Carolina, was to decline to promulgate a rule singling out police officers and firefighters for discriminatory treatment.

The certified question was answered in the negative.

Suggested Study Aids For Tort Law

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