Velazquez v. Jiminez Case Brief by Mythri


									Velazquez v. Jiminez 172 N.J. 240, 798 A.2d 51 (2002)

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Dr. Jiminez was delivering Valazquez's baby. There were complications in the childbirth. Dr. Jiminez called in Dr. Randzini to help. The baby was born with brain damage. Velazquez sued Dr. Jiminez and Dr. Randzini for medical malpractice. The Trial Court found for Velazquez, and assigned 3% of the liability to Randzini. Randzini appealed, claiming that she was immunized from liability because she was a Good Samaritan. o Under a Good Samaritan Act, such as the one in New Jersey, people who render aid during an emergency are immunized from liability for problems that occurs as the scene of the emergency.  Some States explicitly exclude emergency care inside a hospital. Other States explicitly include it. New Jersey's Statue is silent on the issue. o Randzini argued that since she had no prior relationship with Velazquez, he was a Good Samaritan, as opposed to a doctor who owed a patient a certain standard of care. The Appellate Court affirmed. o The Appellate Court found that the Statute must be construed narrowly, and the fact that it specifically included the "scene of the emergency" and "transport to a hospital" but not "hospital" implied that hospitals were not covered. o The Appellate Court felt that the purpose of the Good Samaritan Act was to encourage people to help accident victims they come upon by chance. Randzini could not have said to have come upon the emergency "by chance."  Randzini unsuccessfully argued that this decision would discourage doctors from helping patients in hospitals, but the Court felt

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that was unrealistic.

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