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Good Samaritan

August 28, 2011 | By Esmeralda Bermudez and Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
Residents along this perilous stretch of the Pasadena Freeway say they've seen and heard it all: screeching tires, shattering glass, mangled cars and drivers crying out for help. Only a fence and a concrete divider separate their neighborhood from three narrow, twisting lanes of the southbound 110 Freeway. Crashes are a backdrop to their lives, especially during the rainy season, and offering help to distressed drivers has become second nature. Still, residents were struggling with the tragedy that unfolded before their eyes Friday evening, just north of York Boulevard, when an SUV rear-ended a stopped Nissan Altima, causing it to burst into flames.
February 14, 2011 | By Lisa Dillman
Groundhog Day in the Eastern Conference. The Clippers come to town, face struggling team and end up staggering themselves, playing a predictable offense and a limited amount of defense. Blake Griffin makes a worthy highlight-reel play. The crowd swoons, files away the memory for posterity and goes home happy when the Clippers eventually crumble. On Monday night, it happened again as the Milwaukee Bucks won, 102-78, at the Bradley Center, handing the Clippers their third consecutive loss and putting another debit on L.A.'s road-challenged resume.
May 18, 2010 | By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times
Watching helplessly as a desperate crowd gathered around his truck in Haiti earlier this month, Fernando Pullum began to fear he had made a terrible mistake. The Los Angeles musician and educator had gone there to take food to orphans left homeless by the devastating earthquake. But all he saw were menacing-looking men. "They looked like the Sopranos," Pullum said. "I'm thinking maybe we got shown some bogus pictures of orphans and we just got suckered into driving all this way to bring food to these adults."
May 31, 2009 | STEVE LOPEZ
"I have a serious, painful and hopeless problem," the letter from Sylvia Franklin began. "I'm in extreme need of a dentist." It's routine in my line of work to hear from people who are sick, lonely, angry or afraid, especially in this economy. Although there's not enough time in the day to take up every cause, some cries are impossible to ignore. Franklin, who lives in Chatsworth, explained that she was retired on a fixed income, with medical insurance but no dental coverage.
March 4, 2009
Coming to the rescue of so-called good Samaritans, new state legislation would give much-needed legal protection to passersby who help in an emergency. In the final days of 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled against a woman, Lisa Torti, who pulled a co-worker from a car after an accident. The injured woman, Alexandra Van Horn, was left a paraplegic and claimed that Torti's actions were to blame.
December 25, 2008 | PATT MORRISON
Uh, gentlemen? You three wise men? As your lawyer, I'm advising you not to go there. No question, the family really needs help, especially with a newborn and all. But why take a chance? And the gifts? Honestly, you might just be opening yourselves up to a lawsuit. Frankincense? Myrrh? Somebody might be allergic. You know what those Roman attorneys say: abundans cautela non nocet -- better safe than sorry. Crazy notion, isn't it? Back then, certainly. Maybe not now. The California Supreme Court has given fresh meaning to "no good deed goes unpunished.
December 24, 2008
At a time of year when people are inclined to help those in need, the California Supreme Court has given some of them reason for pause. By narrowing the so-called good-Samaritan law that has long protected bystanders who step forward in an emergency, a recent court ruling could scare off would-be do-gooders by confusing them about what help they can offer without fearing a lawsuit.
December 19, 2008 | Carol J. Williams
Being a good Samaritan in California just got a little riskier. The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a young woman who pulled a co-worker from a crashed vehicle isn't immune from civil liability because the care she rendered wasn't medical. The divided high court appeared to signal that rescue efforts are the responsibility of trained professionals. It was also thought to be the first ruling by the court that someone who intervened in an accident in good faith could be sued.
June 4, 2008 | Francisco Vara-Orta
A Fountain Valley man was struck and killed on the eastbound 134 Freeway early Tuesday after stepping from his car to render aid to the victims of a car crash, authorities said. Kirk Dowling, 48, had pulled his vehicle to the right shoulder of the freeway, just west of Pacific Avenue, shortly before 1 a.m., after noticing that a collision had blocked several lanes of traffic, authorities said. As he walked along the freeway's south shoulder, motorist Sara Kacee, 28, of Altadena swerved to avoid the collision, striking Dowling and then his vehicle, authorities said.
October 29, 2006 | J. Michael Kennedy, Times Staff Writer
What began with police responding to an auto accident in Pasadena became a double murder investigation Saturday, with the twist of a Good Samaritan passerby who was injured as she attempted to stop a thief who stole her car to make his getaway from the accident scene. It began about 11:30 p.m. Friday, when a car hit a light pole in an affluent area on San Rafael Avenue, just south of Colorado Boulevard.
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