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From the “Honestly, People!” Department…California Supreme Court reverses God and all human reason in “Good Samaritan” decision

December 20, 2008

I’ll rephrase.  The California Supreme Court has overridden the Legislature, torquing a perfectly clear statute with a bizarre new rendering that enables an injured party to sue a “good Samaritan” who renders assistance,  unless said “good Samaritan” is a medical professional.

I’ll rephrase again.  The California Supreme Court has reversed millennia of human wiring, segments of the Bible that are so ingrained in the culture that many secular people don’t even know that the story of the “good Samaritan” is found in the Bible; common law, and common sense.

The case at issue involved a group of co-workers on their way home from a Halloween party.  The driver wrapped the car around a light pole.  Everyone but one woman got out on his own.  The driver, a woman, “yanked” the plaintiff from the car, which she said she believed was about to explode.  The plaintiff said her permanent quadriplegia was due to the way she was handled by the driver, “like a rag doll,” rather than to the initial injuries she sustained that presumably prevented her from exiting the car on her own.  She sued the driver.  The driver sought immunity under a state statute exempting people rendering emergency assistance from liability, but the Court held that the statute applied to medical personnel, and that such things should be left to medical professionals.  Here’s an analysis that contains a link to the case and relevant statutes.  Read it and weep for California, for the Golden State has been given over to a demented jurisprudence.

Immunity for persons rendering assistance at the scene of an emergency has forever been so basic that it had to be ripe for a pathologically litigious jurisdiction like California to take it on.  The Court held that the placement of the relevant statutory provision under the state’s Health and Safety Code clearly spoke to a legislative intent to protect medical professionals who are beholden to a standard of due care.  Ordinary people, of course, are malicious klutzes who might paralyze someone trapped in a car that might momentarily explode, and therefore should keep their hands off them or be prepared to assume liability for any damages they might cause in saving the person’s life.

Okay, so you’re Joe, and you’re trapped in a car that has a fair chance of exploding because gas is already flowing from your tank.  I come along and you scream for me to get a rock and break your window; you have no way out.  “Hang on, Joe!” I say.  “I’m not a doctor, not even an EMT.  But I’ll get my lawyer on the horn to assess my potential liability.  Don’t worry!  If I can’t get him–and it’s getting close to 3:00–I’ll dial 911 for you.  Someone should get here within 30 or 40 minutes!  Hang tight!”

The account of the Good Samaritan on which normal human wiring and the common law underlying American jurisprudence are based, is a parable given by the Lord Jesus Christ at Luke 10:30-37, in response to the question, “And who is my neighbor?”  Jesus presents an account of a man left for dead by robbers, the fastidious priest and the Levite who obeyed their law by not touching a dead body, and a Samaritan who rendered assistance to the victim and paid for his keep at an inn while he recovered.  At the end of the parable, Jesus asks his questioner, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?”  The questioner has normal human reasoning capacity and replies, “‘He that showed mercy on him.'”  Ah, now for the capstone of the chronicle.  “Then said Jesus unto him, ‘Go, and do likewise.'”  Note that what Jesus did not say was, “Son, go to med school, and when you are duly licensed by your local prefect, go, and do likewise.”

Be careful in California.  A good-natured person might leave you to die if he has to weigh a decision between bankruptcy and humanity.

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