CACI 450A Good Samaritan—Nonemergency

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

450A Good Samaritan—Nonemergency

[Name of defendant] claims that [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] is not responsible for [name of plaintiff]’s harm because [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] was voluntarily trying to protect [name of plaintiff] from harm in a nonemergency situation. If you decide that [name of defendant] was negligent, [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] is not responsible unless [name of plaintiff] proves both of the following:

1.[(a) That [name of defendant]’s failure to use reasonable care added to the risk of harm;]


[(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].

Directions for Use

Use this instruction for situations other than at the scene of an emergency. Different standards apply in an emergency situation. (See Health & Saf. Code, § 1799.102; CACI No. 450B, Good Samaritan—Scene of Emergency.) Give both instructions if the jury will be asked to decide whether an emergency existed as the preliminary issue. Because under Health and Safety Code section 1799.102 a defendant receives greater protection in an emergency situation, the advisory committee believes that the defendant bears the burden of proving an emergency. (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 asserted].)

Select either or both options for element 1 depending on the facts.

Sources and Authority

Good Samaritan Immunity for Medical Licensees. Business and Professions Code sections 2395–2398.

Good Samaritan Immunity for Nurses. Business and Professions Code sections 2727.5, 2861.5.

Good Samaritan Immunity for Dentists. Business and Professions Code section 1627.5.

Good Samaritan Immunity for Rescue Teams. Health and Safety Code section 1317(f).

Good Samaritan Immunity for Persons Rendering Emergency Medical Services Health and Safety Code section 1799.102.

Good Samaritan Immunity for Paramedics. Health and Safety Code section 1799.104.

Good Samaritan Immunity for First-Aid Volunteers. Government Code section 50086.

“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 other’s 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 defendant does not increase the risk of harm by merely failing to eliminate a preexisting risk.” (University of Southern California v. Superior Court (2018) 30 Cal.App.5th 429, 450 [241 Cal.Rptr.3d 616].)

“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].)

“The police owe duties of care only to the public at large and, except where they enter into a ‘special relationship,’ have no duty to offer affirmative assistance to anyone in particular.” (Arista v. County of Riverside (2018) 29 Cal.App.5th 1051, 1060–1061 [241 Cal.Rptr.3d 437].)

“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.)

“A special relationship can be found ‘when the state, through its agents, voluntarily assumes a protective duty toward a certain member of the public and undertakes action on behalf of that member, thereby inducing reliance, it is held to the same standard of care as a private person or organization.’ ” (Arista, supra, 29 Cal.App.5th at p. 1061.)

Secondary Sources

4 Witkin, California Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Pleadings, § 594
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 1205–1210
Flahavan et al., California Practice Guide: Personal Injury (The Rutter Group) ¶¶ 2:583.10–2:583.11, 2:876
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 Bender)