When someone’s negligence leads to the death of someone you love, you do have the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Missouri. There is one exception, though. The state has a Good Samaritan law that offers protection for certain individuals. In a case involving this law, you cannot sue for wrongful death, so it is important to understand the law.
The Revisor of Statutes explains the Good Samaritan law protects those individuals who put forth a good faith effort to save a person’s life without any compensation for doing so. It basically covers someone who rushes to help during an emergency just out of the goodness of his or her heart. However, it only extends to trained professionals. This includes doctors, nurses, emergency personnel or anyone who has formal training in first aid procedures.
Because these people tried to help, their efforts are not seen as negligent if the person ends up dying. There is an exception, of course. If the professional does exhibit omissions, wanton acts or gross negligence, then the Good Samaritan law will not hold up. It is also important to note the distinction that the person must do the act of trying to save the life without any compensation. So, if the act occurs while the person is working, the law does not apply.
The Good Samaritan law helps protect people who are just trying to help. These people have no obligation to assist in the situation, so they are merely doing this as a good person who wants to save a life. If a death occurs, the person is not responsible and protected under the law. This information is for education and is not legal advice.