Friday, May 29, 2009

Irish Law Reform Commission Report on Good Samaritans

The Law Reform Commission of Ireland this week issued a Report on the Civil Liability of 'Good Samaritans' and Volunteers.

The Commission wrote the report in response to a request by the Attorney General to consider the civil liability of: (a) those who intervene to assist and help an injured person ("Good Samaritans") and (b) voluntary rescuers and other volunteers.

The report's main recommendation takes the form of a draft Civil Liability (Good Samaritans and Volunteers) Bill. The proposed law would provide for a full defence against a civil liability claim for Good Samaritans and voluntary rescuers, unless there is gross negligence, that is, negligence of a very high level and that involves a high degree of risk or likelihood of injury. This gross negligence test is in line with similar laws in place in many countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, the Commission also recommended against imposing any general legal duty to intervene to rescue people in danger over and above what already exists in the law (for example, the duty of employers to provide first aid assistance to employees under safety and health at work legislation).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:57 pm


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