Bystander Rule and Good Samaritan Law

You are employed as a warehouse package handler for RiverNile, Incorporated, in Medena, Minnesota. You
are having lunch in the breakroom with several co-workers, one of whom is a young woman about four months
pregnant, sitting across the table from you. She has taken a bite of a roast beef and cheddar cheese sandwich
which she purchased from the company cafeteria. She begins coughing and clutches her chest. When you
were previously employed as a waiter at an Outfront Steakhouse, you were trained in CPR and the Heimlich
maneuver but never had occasion to use them. You leap up and wrap your arms around her waist. You tip her
forward slightly, make a fist with one hand, and position it slightly above her navel. You then grasp the fist with
the other hand and press hard into her abdomen with a quick, upward thrust. As you continue the thrusts, she
yells at you to stop. When you let her go, she collapses onto the floor clutching her chest, in obvious pain. “You
idiot,” she screams, “I was having an asthma attack.” Someone has called 911. The EMT’s discover you have
broken two of her ribs and she may be miscarrying. They rush her to the hospital. She is treated for broken ribs
and, although she doesn’t lose the baby, her OB/GYN orders bed rest and light physical activity for the
remainder of her pregnancy. She does not return to work and files a lawsuit against you and RiverNiIE
After reading the situation , explain your potential liability for her injuries and the liability of RiverNile, your
employer. Consider the following issues. What might be the basis of her claims? What protection, if any, would
the Minnesota Good Samaritan Law afford you and/or your employer? What defenses might you have? What
might have been your liability if there were no Good Samaritan Law? Would you have gone to her aid if there
were no Good Samaritan Law? Why or why not?

Sample Solution