McCoy v. American Suzuki Motor Corp.

Quick Facts

– McCoy (P):  Injured pedestrian v. American Suzuki Motor Corp. (D)

– D was granted summary judgment, and case was dismissed because of no proximate cause – higher court overturned this decision, and said that it was for the jury to figure out the issue of proximate cause.


–          P was riding on the road, a driver on a Suzuki bike drove off the highway, P pulled over to help out, and in doing so, used flares to prevent traffic from coming (a cop told him to do so). After the ordeal was over, P was walking back to his car and was hit by another vehicle.

–          P brought suit against the motor company for negligence, and that they were the proximate cause of his car accident.


Does the rescue doctrine apply in product liability actions and, if so, must the plaintiff show proximate causation?




Rescue doctrine allows the injured rescuer to sue the party which caused the danger in the first place.

Court reasoning

–          It is foreseeable that a rescuer will come to someone’s aid and that the rescuer could be put in peril by doing so.

–          D owes the rescuer a duty, as if he put them in the peril.

–          Encourages people to help one another.

–          Cannot rescue someone unreasonably, but if you rescue someone with good reason, and irrationally, you are all good.

–          Rescue doctrine can be invoked in product liability.

–          It could conceivably be foreseeable that a person could be injured by this result, in a product liability suit that it should go to the jury, and not the judge.

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