Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

No assistance for injury while at a place of business

An individual drove into a gas station, went to the attendant and prepaid for gas. The individual then took the gas nozzle from the pump. Gas was accidentally discharged over the upper body and in the eyes of an individual. The gas was burning in his eyes and he was unable to see. The individual felt his way through blinking eyes to the station office asking for help - no reply or offer of assistance came from the attendant. Several pleas for help were made to take him to a faucet or sink to flush his eyes but only a wet paper towel was offered. The individual asked to be taken to the nearby emegency six blocks away - no response. The indivdiual finally demanded that the attendant call the paramedics. The paramedics came, flushed his eyes and took him to emergency.

Can the station owner and oil company be liable for negligence and any permanent damage to the eyes due to the lack of assistance?

Thank you for your time and service.

Asked on 8/21/01, 12:56 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Ken Koury Kenneth P. Koury, Esq.

Re: No assistance for injury while at a place of business

I doubt it, not unless the gas pump was defective.

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Answered on 8/21/01, 1:11 pm
Patty Lewis Law Office of Patricia Ann Lewis

Re: No assistance for injury while at a place of business

Generally, in California, a good samaritan has no duty to render aid; however, once the aid has begun and it results in additional damage, the good samaritan may be liable. . . . so there may be gas station liability . . . if the injury was aggravated . . .

Another question: how was the gas nozzle handled . . . was it defective . . . were there other problems with that nozzle . . .

if so there may be a products liability claim against the gasoline company . . .

Finally. . . always remember there are statutes of limitation which preclude any recovery once certain time frames have passed . . . in California, a personal injury claim must be filed within one (1) year of the date of the injury . . . if the case does not settle . . . a formal complaint must be filed in court to preserve the right to recover damages . . .

Contact me direct if I can be of assistance . . . or contact another lawyer as soon as possible for a complete analysis . . . Good luck . . . pal . . . :-)

Patricia Ann (Patty) Lewis

1202 Kettner Boulevard, Suite 4400

San Diego, California 92101-3386

Telephone: (619) 234-8199

Telecopier: (619) 702-0666

email: [email protected]


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Answered on 8/21/01, 1:35 pm
Jeffrey Zinder Zinder & Koch

Re: No assistance for injury while at a place of business

You may have an excellent case. My office has been involved in several of these and there are serious potential toxic affects from direct exposure to gasoline. You should consult with an attorney and be very aware of any alteration in any of your senses. If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to call or e-mail. 818-760-0100 or [email protected]

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Answered on 8/21/01, 1:38 pm

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