Saturday, November 19, 2011

MBE Fast Fact: Firefighter's Rule

Take note of the "Firefighter's Rule," as it's a bit counter-intuitive in respect to what you've learned regarding negligence. Generally, if X is negligent, and that negligence puts X in a position in which he needs someone to rescue him, X will be liable to Y if Y is injured while rescuing X and the injury is caused by the negligence of X. (The idea, as stated by Justice Cardozo is that "danger invites rescue.")

The "Firefighter's Rule" changes the result. The rule is based on a theory of assumption of risk, and precludes a firefighter from recovering for his/her own injuries occurring on duty even if those injuries are caused by another's negligence (for example if a homeowner negligently starts a fire and requires a firefighter to rescue him, and the firefighter is injured as a result, the person who started the fire will not be liable to the firefighter for injuries caused while rescuing the homeowner.)

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