Lincoln v. Rinebolt
The Good Samaritan Act, Connecticut General Statutes §52-557b(b), applies only when an injury results from the provision of emergency first aid and may not apply to injury that is related to the transportation of a patient. Allegedly, defendants Justin Rinebolt and Tim O'Reilly were working for the Mohegan Fire Co. Inc., a volunteer fire department in Montville, Conn., and when they began to remove the stretcher from the ambulance, the stretcher fell to the ground. The plaintiff, Walter Lincoln, alleged that the individual defendants were negligent, because they did not check that the legs of the stretcher had opened and locked, before they dropped the stretcher onto the ground, and he was injured. The defendants moved for summary judgment and argued that they provided first aid on an emergency basis and were entitled to immunity under the Good Samaritan Act, C.G.S. §52-557b(b). The plaintiff denied that the defendants provided first aid on an emergency basis and claimed that the defendants merely transported the plaintiff. The court found that transportation of a patient is not included within the definition of emergency first aid. The plaintiff did not allege that he received first aid on an emergency basis, only transportation, and the court denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the basis of the Good Samaritan Act. The defendants also argued that they were entitled to immunity for discretionary conduct. The plaintiff objected that he was an identifiable victim subject to imminent harm. The plaintiff was not merely a member of the general public. He also was a patient who was in the defendants' control. It was foreseeable that acts or omissions during transport could harm the plaintiff. There was a genuine issue of material fact whether the defendants violated their duty to the plaintiff and placed the plaintiff in imminent harm. The court denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment.