Legal Heirs v. Homeowners

January 18, 2014

Facts:

Prior to incident, defendant homeowners had actual knowledge that their son used dangerous narcotics.

On January 18, 2014, homeowners had 20-year-old decedent sleep at their property. On this date, homeowner’s son used crystal meth with decedent, causing Decedent to subsequently lose consciousness.

Thereafter, homeowner’s son called 911, subsequently changed his mind and acted as a “Good Samaritan” deciding to personally attempt to resituate decedent.  Subsequently, homeowner’s son further acted as a “Good Samaritan” and proceeded to drive his vehicle with decedent in his vehicle for more than seven miles when they called 911.

Instead of telling the truth that he was negligent in driving Decedent’s body and delaying an opportunity to save Decedent’s life, homeowner’s son told Officer that he “found an unknown female lying on the side of the road.”

Officer arrived at the location and found homeowner’s son performing CPR on Decedent, when homeowner’s son asked Officer if he was doing it correctly.  Afterward, Officer and Deputy both attempted to perform CPR, but at that delayed point Decedent no longer had a pulse.

The Sycuan Fire Department (Engine #63) arrived on scene and took over lifesaving efforts, transporting Decedent to Grossmont Hospital via helicopter.

Plaintiff Contentions:

Actual knowledge of deviant actions creates a duty to prevent such actions.  See Pamela L. v. Farmer (1980) 112 CA3d 206, 211, 169 CR 282, 285 (where a homeowner has actual knowledge of her husband’s deviant sexual propensities, the husband’s sexual assault or molestation of the child is reasonably foreseeable and the wife has a duty to take measures to prevent it).

Furthermore, a “Good Samaritan” is liable for injury caused by negligence in rendering aid where: (a)  The failure to exercise due care increases the risk of harm; or (b) Harm is suffered because of the victim’s reliance on the Good Samaritan’s undertaking. Delgado v. Trax Bar & Grill (2005) 36 C4th 224, 248-249, 30 CR3d 45, 164 & fn. 28; Williams v. State of Calif. (1983) 34 C3d 18, 23, 192 CR 233, 235-236; see Toomer v. United States (9th Cir. 2010) 615 F3d 1233, 1239 (applying Calif. law); Rest.2d Torts § 323.

A reasonable person would have immediately contacted 911 to make certain medical professionals would arrive to save Decedent’s life.  Your insured by their aforementioned actions failed to exercise due care for safety of Decedent, increased the risk of harm to Decedent,  and she died because your insured failed to contact the authorities and/or call 911 when they found her in her condition.

Instead of acting reasonably, your amateur insured negligently attempted to personally render aid and be a “Good Samaritan” by personally resuscitating Decedent, he then further delayed medical providers from rending aid by wasting precious time driving her body down the road, stopping at a random spot in the dirt road, then claiming they did not know who she was.  This lack of due care ended up in the unfortunate and premature death of 20-year-old Decedent.

Homeowner was liable for failing to exercise due care, directly causing the premature death of Decedent.

Defendant Contentions:

Contributory negligence, lack of knowledge of illegal activities on premises.

Result:

Plaintiff was rewarded a settlement of $ 500,000.