Good Samaritan bill puts lives over lawsuits

We have all heard of the tragic stories of children overheating because they were left in the back seat of a car for hours in the sun.

I was proud to support legislation recently approved by the Michigan Senate to excuse a person from civil liability for damage caused by breaking into a car to save a child.

This bill is about putting saving lives ahead of lawsuits by making sure that if a Good Samaritan has reason to believe that breaking a car window is necessary to save the life of a child, they won’t be sued for acting.

Senate Bill 566 would provide civil immunity to an individual who forcibly enters a vehicle to save a minor who is reasonably believed to be in danger.

Unfortunately, we are seeing more of these types of emergencies and tragedies each year. Ten Michigan children have died of heatstroke while locked in a car since 1998. Since a child cannot regulate temperature changes like an adult, they are more vulnerable to heat.

To receive immunity from civil liability for any damage done to a vehicle, a person would have to meet several requirements, such as determining that the vehicle was locked and there was no reasonable way to gain entry to the car or for the child to exit the vehicle and having a reasonable belief, based on the circumstances known at the time, that forcibly entering the vehicle was necessary because a child was in danger.

The Good Samaritan would also have to contact the local law enforcement agency or fire department before or after forcibly entering the vehicle; place a notice on the windshield with his or her contact information, the reason for the entry, the child’s location and a statement that the local authorities had been notified; and remain with the child in a safe location until a law enforcement officer, firefighter or other emergency responder arrived.

In the end, this is about common sense. Having a Good Samaritan save the life of someone’s child is more important than allowing that person to sue for the cost of replacing a broken window.

 

Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents Southwest Michigan.

 

Buchanan

Local provisioning centers celebrate cannabis holiday with sales, overcome software snags

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 799,140 cases, 16,986 deaths

Dowagiac

DUS to install classroom phones in elementary schools, high school

Berrien County

Berrien County 4-H Leaders Association sets annual meeting

Dowagiac

DUS Board of Education honors Class of 2021 Top 10

Buchanan

Buchanan HCU member center lands new leadership

Berrien County

United Way of Southwest Michigan invites community to honor leaders during National Volunteer Week

Buchanan

Buchanan provisioning center raises money to fight cannabis injustices

Cass County

Cass County Sheriff’s Office K9 finds home invasion, larceny suspect

Berrien County

UPDATE: Sheriff’s office finds missing Niles man

Brandywine Education

Teacher resigns after allegedly soliciting 14-year-old

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 793,881 cases, 16,901 deaths

Business

Cassopolis to welcome first marijuana dispensary

Berrien County

Merritt Elementary hosting pet supply drive for area shelters

Dowagiac

SMC psychology panel provides pandemic perspective

Berrien County

South Bend man sentenced for meth possession in Niles Township

Berrien County

GateWay Services to become Center for Growth and Independence

Buchanan

Cannavista Wellness, Common Citizen launch 420 charitable fundraiser

News

Niles Police Log: April 8-15

Dowagiac

Retired Dowagiac resident returns to teaching at 80

Cass County

Report finds problem-solving courts help lower recidivism, unemployment rates

Business

Yarn on Front owner shares how she adapted, overcame pandemic squeeze

Dowagiac

DUS graduate raising money for independent film project

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club excited to bring ‘welcome’ sign to community