Rescuer blamed for causing friend's paralysis

A WOMAN accused of rendering a friend a paraplegic by pulling her out of a wrecked car "like a rag doll" may not be protected by California's "Good Samaritan" law, a court has ruled.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal has decided that the law only protects people from liability if they are administering emergency medical care. The perceived danger of remaining in the wrecked car was not "medical", the court ruled.

Alexandra van Horn was in the passenger seat of a car that hit a lamppost at 45mph in 2004, according to a negligence lawsuit filed against Lisa Torti.

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Ms Torti emerged from a following car to place one arm under Ms van Horn's legs and the other behind her neck to lift her out. Ms Van Horn said Ms Torti pulled her from the car "like a rag doll". She suffered injury to a vertebra and a lacerated liver.

Ms Torti's lawyer said he would appeal, saying the Samaritan law should protect all. "There was no evidence our client was doing anything but trying to rescue a person in need," he said.

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