German sues life saver for broken ribs.

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by SKJOLD, Jan 8, 2010.

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  1. The Myth
    The german has no pulse and a qualified first aider proceeds to give him/her CPR. Inevitably cracking and breaking ribs in the process. Casualty survives but sues first aider for broken ribs..............and wins!

    Ive done a quick google search on this and can only find references from people who know someone who has a dog which is owned by someone that knows the neighbour get the idea. All in America.

    Can someone give me a reference to an exact case, Boxhead or other.

    p.s Apoligies for spelling and grammer I learnt it from the dictionary of hansa and turborg.
  2. Nothing on lexis or lawtel databases either, may I call waaaaah ???

    edited to remove japanese luxury car maker doh!
  3. Most US states have some form of "Good Samaritan" law protecting those still willing to offer assistance. I believe Germany has a "duty to assist law" that provides protection to first responders too (although I do not know if this covers trained and certified responders only).
  4. I thought Germany also had the good Samaritan law because of too many law suits.
  5. I remember being told this story in approx 1998 on a First Aid Course, so maybe happened donkeys ago, may be urban myth.
    Either way the instructors conclusion, to professional AT Instructors was 'stand back and see if anyone else gives First Aid first, to cover the liability issue'.
    Whilst I could see the logic, in a civi environment I am still unsure of the moral side 12 years later!!
  6. Wisegeek (about which I know nothing to recommend or otherwise); where they compare various country's Good Samaritan laws, they say the following:

    The Wikki Thing: There is a stronger law in Germany that people actually have to assist; In Germany, "Unterlassene Hilfeleistung" (neglect of duty to provide assistance) is an offense according to paragraph 323c of the Strafgesetzbuch; a citizen is obliged to provide first aid when necessary and isso I suspect the knowledge given may have been urban myth? immune from prosecution if assistance given in good faith turns out to be harmful.

    So I suspect urban myth, unless someone decided a "first aid" situation was a licence to assault someone he didn't like?
  7. Seems to be true, unfortunately. Here's a report in German, and you can see a crap machine translation here.

    If that does not work, here's a site you can use for do-it-yourself crap translations in case you don't know it already.
  8. Different case - same predicament. Fortunately the case is expected to be dismissed.
  9. Have just recently completed a St. John's Ambulance First Aid At Work course, and this very same question came up. We were informed that we are now insured against being sued. Not surprised, the course cost almost £300.
  10. The good samaritan provisions, IIRC cover all who give aid, trained or not.

    The very fact that the claimant is alive and in court trying to sue the first aider would surely render the case void anyway? If the first aider was so incompetent how come the victim is alive to sue him? Broken ribs heal. Death can't be healed presently. The First Aiders objective is to preserve life, not to preserve life without breaking ribs.

    Not to be confused with the relatives of a deceased person suing someone or the organisation that employed and/or trained them for professional negligence or a failure of duty of care.
  11. I would suspect the action may have been possible because a doctor was there and treated the casualty with "medical treatment", which looks like amn unhygienic insertion of a drip?

    I guess we have the same distinction if an ambulance crew gave help that were not in accord with their codes of practice, or a Brit doctor gave medical treatment wrongly?
  12. I clearly recall that in the 1980s there was at least one garrison (Dortmund) official warning about avoiding giving German civvies first aid, due to the problem of (then) recent legal counter-claims. The instruction was to wait for German emergency services if at all possible.

    Same thing with RTAs: I had a German biker run into the back of my car whilst I was stationary at a red traffic light. The whole accident happened in front of two German cops, who took charge of the situation and gave me a witness statement. The biker then sued me through the German courts for compensation anyway - luckily I had some ADAC cover, otherwise I'd have been fnucked. Went on for months - I was astonished the courts entertained his claim.
  13. Exactly what case were you supposed to answer, FFS? Hard to imagine even a lawyer presenting an argument like that with a straight face!
  14. Most German cars seem to come with a very comprehensive first aid kit. The Merc came with a kit that had all sorts of dangerous looking things in it.

    If you drive anywhere in Euroland you are required to carry a first aid kit. I've never understood why because the majority wouldn't have a clue what to do with them.

    edit: spelling, as usual
  15. Well in SA we also have the good samaritan law, when I did St Johns and also when i switched to Lifesaving SA we were told that as long as we don't try to give aid which falls outside of our qualifications, and we don't neglect or cause extreme bodily harm (like dropping the oke out of a boat onto his head) we're safe...

    Life over limb, thank fcuk in SA we don't have the same sueing culture as you lot...