Brief Fact Summary. The Circuit Court for Waukesha County (Wisconsin) granted summary judgment in favor of Appellees in a negligence action brought by Pinter (Appellant), an emergency medical technician (EMT) and firefighter. Appellant sustained injuries while providing emergency medical assistance to a passenger who was injured in an automobile accident.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. When an EMT is called to the scene of an automobile collision in his professional capacity, and he sustains an injury while performing his duty to provide emergency care, public policy prohibits the EMT from maintaining a cause of action based on the negligent driving that caused the collision.
Issue. Were the public policy considerations in question still valid, thus applicable to Plaintiff’s negligence action?
Held. Yes. The court held, “[i]t would contravene public policy to permit a firefighter to recover damages from an individual who has already been taxed to provide compensation to firefighters.” With respect to this case, the court opined that firefighters and EMTs “know that they will be expected to provide aid and protection to others in these hazardous circumstances.”
The public policy factors to be considered are:(1) the injury is too remote from the negligence; or (2) the injury is too wholly out of proportion to the culpability of the negligent tortfeasor; or (3) in retrospect it appears too highly extraordinary that the negligence should have brought about the harm; or (4) because allowance of recovery would place too unreasonable a burden on the negligent tort-feasor; or (5) because allowance of recovery would be too likely to open the way for fraudulent claims; or (6) allowance of recovery would enter a field that has no sensible or just stopping point.View Full Point of Law