Duty to Rescue Created By Statute

A little over a week ago I wrote this post about the general rule in the law of torts that one person does not have a duty to rescue another from harm.  To be sure, there are exceptions to that general rule, but the fact remains that this is one area of tort law in where the duty imposed by law is generally less than that imposed by the moral code of most people.

This post from the Volokh Conspiracy notes that some states impose a duty to rescue crime victims or report crimes.  The 10 states listed by Volokh with "duty to rescue" statutes are California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin. Most of the statutes, however, impose only a very limited to duty to call the police if you witness a serious crime such as murder or rape, and can summon help without endangering yourself.  Vermont  imposes the highest level of responsibility by requiring assistance to the victim.