California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

450B. Good Samaritan—Scene of Emergency

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450B.Good Samaritan—Scene of Emergency
[Name of defendant] claims that [he/she] is not responsible for [name of
plaintiff]’s harm because [he/she] was trying to protect [name of plaintiff]
from harm at the scene of an emergency.
To succeed on this defense, [name of defendant] must prove all of the
1. That [name of defendant] rendered medical or nonmedical care or
assistance to [name of plaintiff] at the scene of an emergency;
2. That [name of defendant] was acting in good faith; and
3. That [name of defendant] was not acting for compensation.
If you decide that [name of defendant] has proved all of the above, but
you decide that [name of defendant] was negligent, [he/she] is not
responsible unless [name of plaintiff] proves that [name of defendant]’s
conduct constituted gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
“Gross negligence” is the lack of any care or an extreme departure from
what a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation.
“Willful or wanton misconduct” means conduct by a person who may
have no intent to cause harm, but who intentionally performs an act so
unreasonable and dangerous that he or she knows or should know it is
highly probable that harm will result.
If you find that [name of defendant] was grossly negligent or acted
willfully or wantonly, [name of plaintiff] must then also prove:
1. [(a) That [name of defendant]’s conduct added to the risk of
1. [or]
1. [(b) That [name of defendant]’s conduct caused [name of plaintiff]
to reasonably rely on [his/her] protection;]
2. That the [additional risk/ [or] reliance] was a substantial factor
in causing harm to [name of plaintiff].
Derived from former CACI No. 450 December 2010; Revised December 2011
Directions for Use
Use this instruction for situations at the scene of an emergency not involving
medical, law enforcement, or emergency personnel. (See Health & Saf. Code,
§ 1799.102.) In a nonemergency situation, give CACI No. 450A, Good
Under Health and Safety Code section 1799.102(b), the defendant must have acted
at the scene of an emergency, in good faith, and not for compensation. These terms
are not defined, and neither the statute nor case law indicates who has the burden
of proof. However, the advisory committee believes that it is more likely that the
defendant has the burden of proving those things necessary to invoke the
protections of the statute. (See Evid. Code, § 500 [party has the burden of proof as
to each fact the existence or nonexistence of which is essential to the claim for
relief or defense asserted].)
If the jury finds that the statutory standards have been met, then presumably it must
also find that the common-law standards for Good-Samaritan liability have also
been met. (See Health & Saf. Code, § 1799.102(c) [“Nothing in this section shall
be construed to change any existing legal duties or obligations”].) In the common-
law part of the instruction, select either or both options for element 1 depending on
the facts.
See also CACI No. 425, “Gross Negligence” Explained.
Sources and Authority
• Immunity for Persons Rendering Care at Scene of Emergency. Health and
Safety Code section 1799.102.
• “ ‘Gross negligence’ long has been defined in California and other jurisdictions
as either a ‘ “ ‘want of even scant care’ ” ’ or ‘ “ ‘an extreme departure from the
ordinary standard of conduct.’ ” ’ ” (City of Santa Barbara v. Superior Court
(2007) 41 Cal.4th 747, 754 [62 Cal.Rptr.3d 527, 161 P.3d 1095], internal
citations omitted.)
• “By contrast, ‘wanton’ or ‘reckless’ misconduct (or ‘ “willful and wanton
negligence” ’) describes conduct by a person who may have no intent to cause
harm, but who intentionally performs an act so unreasonable and dangerous that
he or she knows or should know it is highly probable that harm will result.”
(City of Santa Barbara,supra, 41 Cal.4th at p. 754, fn. 4, internal citations
• “Under well-established common law principles, a person has no duty to come
to the aid of another. If, however, a person elects to come to someone’s aid, he
or she has a duty to exercise due care. Thus, a ‘good Samaritan’ who attempts
to help someone might be liable if he or she does not exercise due care and
ends up causing harm.” (Van Horn v. Watson (2008) 45 Cal.4th 322, 324 [86
Cal.Rptr.3d 350, 197 P.3d 164], internal citations omitted.)
• “A person who has not created a peril is not liable in tort merely for failure to
take affirmative action to assist or protect another unless there is some
relationship between them which gives rise to a duty to act. Also pertinent to
our discussion is the role of the volunteer who, having no initial duty to do so,
undertakes to come to the aid of another—the ‘good Samaritan.’ . . . He is
under a duty to exercise due care in performance and is liable if (a) his failure
to exercise such care increases the risk of such harm, or (b) the harm is suffered
because of the other’s reliance upon the undertaking.” (Williams v. State of
California (1983) 34 Cal.3d 18, 23 [192 Cal.Rptr. 233, 664 P.2d 137], internal
citations omitted.)
• “A police officer, paramedic or other public safety worker is as much entitled to
the benefit of this general rule as anyone else.” (Camp v. State of California
(2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 967, 975 [109 Cal.Rptr.3d 676].)
• “Under the good Samaritan doctrine, CHP may have a duty to members of the
public to exercise due care when CHP voluntarily assumes a protective duty
toward a certain member of the public and undertakes action on behalf of that
member thereby inducing reliance, when an express promise to warn of a
danger has induced reliance, or when the actions of CHP place a person in peril
or increase the risk of harm. In other words, to create a special relationship and
a duty of care, there must be evidence that CHP ‘ “made misrepresentations that
induced a citizen’s detrimental reliance [citation], placed a citizen in harm’s
way [citations], or lulled a citizen into a false sense of security and then
withdrew essential safety precautions.” ’ Nonfeasance that leaves the citizen in
exactly the same position that he or she already occupied cannot support a
finding of duty of care. Affirmative conduct or misfeasance on the part of CHP
that induces reliance or changes the risk of harm is required.” (Greyhound
Lines, Inc. v. Department of the California Highway Patrol (2013) 213
Cal.App.4th 1129, 1136 [152 Cal.Rptr.3d 492], internal citations omitted.)
• Statutory exceptions to Good Samaritan liability include immunities under
certain circumstances for medical licensees (Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 2395–2398),
nurses (Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 2727.5, 2861.5), dentists (Bus. & Prof. Code,
§ 1627.5), rescue teams (Health & Saf. Code, § 1317(f)), persons rendering
emergency medical services (Health & Saf. Code, § 1799.102), paramedics
(Health & Saf. Code, § 1799.104), and first-aid volunteers (Gov. Code,
§ 50086).
Secondary Sources
4 Witkin, California Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Pleadings, § 594
6Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, §§ 1060–1065
Haning, et al., California Practice Guide: Personal Injury, Ch. 2(II)-I, Negligence
Liability Based On Omission To Act—Legal Duty Arising From “Special
Relationship,” ¶¶ 2:1985, 2:2005 (The Rutter Group)
1 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 1, Negligence: Duty and Breach, § 1.11
(Matthew Bender)
4 California Trial Guide, Unit 90, Closing Argument, § 90.90 (Matthew Bender)
33 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 380, Negligence, § 380.32[5][c]
(Matthew Bender)
16 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 165, Negligence, § 165.150 (Matthew