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Good Samaritan damages car - who is responsible?
The Globe and Mail ^ | Jan 02, 2014 | JOANNE WILL

Posted on 01/06/2014 4:56:55 AM PST by rickmichaels

A friend of mine saw a man whose car was stuck in a snow bank, stopped and offered to help push him out. He accepted. A few other people stopped and joined in. Someone pushed on the spoiler of the car and it snapped off. The driver was furious and demanded compensation, which has not been forthcoming as of yet.

My friend believes the driver told the person to push on the spoiler, but of course he disputes that now (he would testify to that effect if necessary). Are Good Samaritans who are trying to help responsible for damages? Should I just drive on next time and leave it to CAA to get people unstuck? I am guessing that by accepting help, the driver accepts the risks. If he has a claim, would auto or household insurance be able to step in? – Robert in Calgary

(Excerpt) Read more at theglobeandmail.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: goodsamaritan

1 posted on 01/06/2014 4:56:55 AM PST by rickmichaels
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To: rickmichaels

The good guy thanks the helpers and recognizes the damage is the price of help.

I’ve been there. (Cracked sunroof from helpers pushing on the roof line.)


2 posted on 01/06/2014 5:03:53 AM PST by G Larry
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To: rickmichaels

I would say yes!


3 posted on 01/06/2014 5:04:34 AM PST by sickoflibs (Obama : 'If you like your Doctor you can keep him, PERIOD! Don't believe the GOPs warnings')
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To: rickmichaels

Lost me at “demanded compensation”. As long as it wasn’t malicious I wouldn’t even talk with this person again let alone pay them for trying to help them.


4 posted on 01/06/2014 5:06:14 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: rickmichaels

Throw him back in the snow bank.


5 posted on 01/06/2014 5:09:05 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: rickmichaels

From the perspective of the 4 basic temperaments: (funny - I didn’t know the A was in there...)

1. Sanguine - laughs it off
2. Melancholy - cries about it
3. Phlegmatic - oh well, so what, gotta get another, eh, maybe
4. Choleric - YOU &^%%$%^ , you’re gonna have to pay me for that!

I think most ‘normal’ people would consider it a ‘cost’ of getting helped (for free too!) - but you never know...


6 posted on 01/06/2014 5:10:10 AM PST by spankalib ("I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.")
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To: rickmichaels

There are liability issues when you give someone CPR. Lawyers have ruined this country.


7 posted on 01/06/2014 5:11:32 AM PST by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: rickmichaels
I am sure the automobile owner was just frustrated and upset from being stuck and late for wherever he was going. When he cools off and thinks it over, he will forget the whole thing and make the repairs himself.

That said, I cannot believe someone would be so stupid as to try to push a car from a PLASTIC part. Everyone knows plastic is not strong enough to be used as a push point. Plus it gets brittle as all heck in the cold. Sheesh!

But wait. There's more. This IS 2014. Year six of the Era of Obama. Scratch all of the above. There is no common sense left. Driver will probably sue and win.

8 posted on 01/06/2014 5:11:55 AM PST by Tupelo (I am feeling more like Philip Nolan every day)
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To: caver

Actually all states except Washington and Minnesota have some sort of Good Samaritan law. (Are we still allowed to use that term since in comes from the Bible?)


9 posted on 01/06/2014 5:17:00 AM PST by PaForBush
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To: Tupelo

They should realize one of the best ways to push on a car is the top of the tire. If you can get to it and have gloves or can otherwise get a pretty good grip it is where you get the most leverage. You are pushing on the top of the tire. The “fulcrum” is the bottom of the tire where it touches the road. The car is resisting from the axle - half way up. So you literally double your leverage, doubling your push.


10 posted on 01/06/2014 5:18:48 AM PST by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: rickmichaels

I suppose technically the “Good Samaritan” would be liable for breaking the spoiler but a driver with a magnanimous viewpoint would say, “no problem, thanks for the help.”

But unfortunately, Americans lack magnanimity these days.


11 posted on 01/06/2014 5:25:54 AM PST by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: rickmichaels

that is the reason people ignore others who need help

people who need help can be complete asses and ingrates


12 posted on 01/06/2014 5:26:12 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: ThunderSleeps

>> They should realize one of the best ways to push on a car is the top of the tire.

That rules out letting the car’s drive train help with the pushing. ;-)


13 posted on 01/06/2014 5:31:19 AM PST by Nervous Tick (Without GOD, men get what they deserve.)
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To: Tupelo

Did you ever think visibility was very, very bad? The fog was incredibly thick during this storm and the snow, itself, obscured the view. And how many hands were struggling to find a position on the car? Sheesh, people are such ingrates. He obviously got out of the snow back and avoided hypothermia. But, nooooooooooo, he’s gotta complain and demand payment.

I had to look up “spoiler” on google.


14 posted on 01/06/2014 5:31:28 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: yldstrk
that is the reason people ignore others who need help

people who need help can be complete asses and ingrates

You forget. This is the United States.

Where help is owed to another, whether you want to or not.

15 posted on 01/06/2014 5:32:35 AM PST by mountn man (The Pleasure You Get From Life Is Equal To The Attitude You Put Into It)
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To: rickmichaels

>>> .... furious and demanded compensation

How does the driver decide how much compensation is due him (on the spot)?

I would just bill him double for the work performed, and split the 50% left amongst the good folks who stopped and helped.

Win - win.


16 posted on 01/06/2014 5:34:15 AM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: mountn man

if ordered to help by fedgov you mean


17 posted on 01/06/2014 5:34:23 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: rickmichaels
This is the United States ... This is America

Actually, this is Canada. Robert in Calgary

18 posted on 01/06/2014 5:37:14 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
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To: rickmichaels
He didn't damage the car, he damaged a decoration on the car. The car will operate just fine without the silly piece of plastic.

Tell Mr PITA to grow up and get over it. The primary cause of the car decoration being damaged is that he is unable to drive in the snow. Perhaps he should take the bus from now on.

19 posted on 01/06/2014 5:45:16 AM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: rickmichaels
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. In summation, my client, while helping the defendant move his car from a snowbank, placed his hand on a defective spoiler which broke of causing my client to slip on the icy footing which defendents car caused when he started the engine subsequently causing the snow to melt at the rear of the car in the vicinity of the car exhaust. The resulting slip caused by clients to loose his balance placing his weight on said defective spoiler which snapped causing my client to pitch forward at such an angle that he sustained serious back injury. We are asking for medical expenses, loss of income, and punitive damages from the defendant's lack of care, negligence and psychological abuse directed at my client,
20 posted on 01/06/2014 5:48:48 AM PST by dblshot (I am John Galt.)
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To: rickmichaels

Colorado had a good Samaritan law that someone helping say with first aid could not be sued if something happened. I don’t know if it covers this kind of help. The driver is probably liable for a ticket for careless driving or something so he is not innocent either.


21 posted on 01/06/2014 5:58:00 AM PST by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

I was helping a lady stuck in the ditch bit north of Calgary there. I had my truck but no chains or tow ropes as I had just picked it up. So I went to an autobody business right near there and asked the owner if I could borrow something. He said sure, but I better make sure I have a safe pull point or she can go after me for damages. I asked him if he was serious, he said yes. So apparently, you can try to help someone but if you damage something, you’re responsible. Well, that didn’t stop me, I went anyways, turned out she had a trailer hitch on her little SUV.

After having to use 4wheel low to get her out, I looked and made sure it was road worthy, and it was fine. She thanked me and asked me for a business card with my company. I said it’s fine, you won’t have need for our services unless you’re a major oil company. I said Jesus says to love your neighbors as yourself, so here I am loving my neighbors. I could tell she wasn’t too happy with my reasons for helping.


22 posted on 01/06/2014 6:01:47 AM PST by Bulwyf
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To: dblshot

LOL! two sides to it all.


23 posted on 01/06/2014 6:02:30 AM PST by Bulwyf
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To: rickmichaels

It would depend on whether or not they successfully got the car back on the road......


24 posted on 01/06/2014 6:04:41 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Miss Muffit suffered from arachnophobia.....)
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To: rickmichaels

Too many “non Christians” with “non Christian” lawyers on retainer around here where I live (Philly suburb).

There is no good place to push on a modern car.

But the standard of living is up, don’t you know?


25 posted on 01/06/2014 6:15:32 AM PST by Born to Conserve
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To: rickmichaels

The idiot deserved it for having a spoiler on their car in the first place.


26 posted on 01/06/2014 6:24:32 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: rickmichaels

Are Good Samaritans who are trying to help responsible for damages?

No. The owner of the car is a complete and utter jerk. He has insurance and can make a claim to fix it. What a complete and utter repulsive individual.


27 posted on 01/06/2014 6:28:48 AM PST by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
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To: Tupelo

If he doesn’t sue, his insurance company will.


28 posted on 01/06/2014 6:29:16 AM PST by JimSEA
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To: rickmichaels

What a royal pain. The helpers should have shoved the car back into the snow and left him. Or better yet, they make him pay for their imagined back and neck injuries.


29 posted on 01/06/2014 6:43:02 AM PST by bgill
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To: rickmichaels

Dear Robert in Calgary, agree to pay for the spoiler. Then send him a bill for that amount plus additional money for getting his vehicle unstuck.


30 posted on 01/06/2014 6:46:43 AM PST by Arrowhead1952 (The Second Amendment is NOT about the right to hunt. It IS a right to shoot tyrants.)
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To: yldstrk; rickmichaels
I generally don't ever stop to help anyone any more unless their lives are clearly in danger, for just this reason. Rick - I note you mentioned that you are in Calgary. I assume that means Canada. Don't know the American laws on this, but have to assume they are different north of the border anyway.

You might consider this one thing, though. Repairing a spoiler is about $1,000 to $1,500, depending on the car. The guy who's car is damaged could easily spend that much on attorney's fees at $150 to $300 per hour, depending on where the suit is to take place. Your buddy could just call his bluff, note the legal costs as I mentioned above, walk away and see what happens. Most people are just bluster and bluff anyway.

31 posted on 01/06/2014 7:14:34 AM PST by Hardastarboard (The question of our age is whether a majority of Americans can and will vote us all into slavery.)
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