CACI No. 450B. Good Samaritan - Scene of Emergency

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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450B.Good Samaritan - Scene of Emergency
[Name of defendant] claims that [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] is not
responsible for [name of plaintiff]’s harm because [he/she/nonbinary
pronoun] 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/nonbinary
pronoun] is not responsible unless [name of plaintiff] proves that [name of
defendant]’s conduct constituted gross negligence or willful or wanton
“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 the person 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/nonbinary pronoun] 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, May
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
Samaritan - Nonemergency.
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
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
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 others 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
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 1205-1210
Haning et al., California Practice Guide: Personal Injury, Ch. 2(IV)-H, Emergency
Medical Services Immunity, ¶¶ 2:3495-2:3516 (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

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