Poor judgment

JudgeHat tip to Throckmorton about this story appearing in the L.A. Times:

Being a good Samaritan in California just got a little riskier.

The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a young woman who pulled a co-worker from a crashed vehicle isn’t immune from civil liability because the care she rendered wasn’t medical.

The divided high court appeared to signal that rescue efforts are the responsibility of trained professionals. It was also thought to be the first ruling by the court that someone who intervened in an accident in good faith could be sued.

Lisa Torti of Northridge allegedly worsened the injuries suffered by Alexandra Van Horn by yanking her “like a rag doll” from the wrecked car on Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

Torti now faces possible liability for injuries suffered by Van Horn, a fellow department store cosmetician who was rendered a paraplegic in the accident that ended a night of Halloween revelry in 2004.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air sums up the ruling:

The court has sent a signal to the people of California: don’t get involved. If someone’s drowning, don’t jump in the lake and save them. If someone’s trapped in a car that’s about to explode, sit there and watch the show. Just make a phone call, and who cares that it might be several minutes before an EMS team can make it to the scene? If you sit on your hands, no one can sue you for all you’re worth.

This is insanity!

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