UTAH — Under the "professional rescuer" rule, a highway trooper who was injured while responding to an accident can't sue the driver at fault, the Utah Supreme Court has ruled. The lower court decision was reported at "Officer can't recover for accident scene injury," Lawyers USA, March 13, 2006. Search terms for Lawyers USA Archives: Fordham and Oldroyd.
The plaintiff was struck by a vehicle while retrieving hazard flares. He was responding to a rollover accident that allegedly resulted from the defendant's negligent high-speed driving in winter conditions.
The plaintiff sued for damages, arguing the driver's negligence was the proximate cause of his injuries.
The driver agued that the "professional rescuer" doctrine barred the claim.
The court agreed.
"[The plaintiff's] injuries were within the scope of risks inherent to a highway patrol trooper's duties and derived from the alleged negligence requiring his presence. Consistent with the professional rescuer rule we recognize today, we hold that [the driver] owed no duty of care and affirm the court of appeals," the court said.
Fordham v. Oldroyd (Lawyers USA No. 9938330) Utah Supreme Court No. 20060260. Sept. 14, 2007.
Copyright 2007 Lawyers USA
Utah Supreme Court rules injured trooper can't sue