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Rescue Doctrine Cases Summarized By Accident Attorney

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Summarizes Rescue Doctrine Cases

Brien Roche

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Rescue Doctrine.For more information on rescue doctrine see the pages on Wikipedia.

Rescue Doctrine-Cases

2010 Kimble v. Carey, 279 Va. 652, 691 S.E.2d 790.

Plaintiff attempted to rescue driver slumped over wheel in automo- bile accident. Whether that driver’s conduct that put plaintiff in peril was willful and wanton was irrelevant to the rescue doctrine. In this case, however, it was error for the Court to rule as a matter of law that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent since under the rescue doctrine the issue should have been submitted to the jury.

1988 Lassiter v. Warinner, 235 Va. 274, 368 S.E.2d 258.

Defendant was attacked by third-party assailant. Plaintiff came to rescue and in course of doing so plaintiff injured when defendant attempted to move his vehicle. Rescue doctrine applies. Jury should have been required to consider whether defendant negligent, plaintiff negligent or rescue doctrine was limitation on plaintiff’s negligence and whether sudden emergency defense applies. Rescue doctrine provides that when person sees victim in imminent and serious peril caused by tortious conduct of third person, rescuer will not be guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law provided he does not act recklessly.

1987 Commonwealth v. Millsaps, 232 Va. 502, 352 S.E.2d 311.

Rescue doctrine has been limited to situations involving apparent, immediate peril of death or serious bodily injury to another person. One who sees person in imminent and serious peril caused by negligence of another cannot be charged with contributory negligence as matter of law in risking his own life or serious injury in attempting to effect rescue, provided attempt is not recklessly made. Supreme Court indicates it is unwilling to extend rescue doctrine to cover rescue efforts directed towards potential but unperceived victims. Rescue doctrine in proper case may vitiate defense of assumption of risk.

1973 Nelson v. Pendleton, 214 Va. 139, 198 S.E.2d 593.

Plaintiff housekeeper fell down stairs while trying to retrieve child. Defendant parent had failed to latch gate and plaintiff had failed to check it. There can be no recovery by rescuer whose negligence may have also contributed to injuries.

1963 Roanoke Hosp. Ass’n v. Hayes, 204 Va. 703, 133 S.E.2d 559.

Plaintiff tried to rescue or protect patient. If she was engaged in rescuing patient from imminent danger occasioned by negligence of defendant, then plaintiff is free of negligence unless she performed rescue under circumstances as would make it rash and reckless in estimation of ordinary prudent persons.

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Rescue Doctrine Cases Summarized By Accident Attorney

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