CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Assembly Bill 83

Assembly Bill 83 provides non-medical Good Samaritans the same liability protections afforded medical Good Samaritans.

The bill stems from the California Supreme Court's ruling in Van Horn v. Torti, in which Lisa Torti rescued Alexandra Van Horn from a vehicle involved in an accident, and, in doing so, might have caused Ms. Van Horn's subsequent paralysis. The Court determined that Health and Safety Code Section 1799.102 provides liability protection only to medical professionals who provide emergency medical care. The Court's interpretation means that though Ms. Torti may have reasonably believed that removing Ms. Van Horn from a potentially explosive car was necessary to save her live, Ms. Torti may still be sued for injuries allegedly caused by the rescue.

Assembly Bill 83 amends Health and Safety Code Section 1799.102 to ensure that it provides liability protections to all people, both medical and laypeople, who help out in good faith at the scene of an emergency.

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