Hawaii law aims to protect do-gooders
: Does Hawaii have a good Samaritan law? I have noticed on more than one occasion where tourists have noticed a lack of the aloha spirit from locals. I also read a letter to the editor in another publication in which a man with multiple sclerosis said he fell in a crosswalk near two bus stops in Haleiwa, but no one at the stops or in passing cars stopped to help. He was finally helped by a family from Colorado. Maybe it is a cultural thing of minding one's own business.
Answer: It would be difficult to figure out why people didn't leap to the man's aid, but just from the "mahalos" sent regularly to "Kokua Line," the aloha spirit is shown in many ways by many people, "locals" foremost among them.
Hawaii does have a "good Samaritan law," but it has nothing to do with legislating the aloha spirit.
Similar to good Samaritan laws in other states, Section 663-1.5 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes seeks to provide a do-gooder protection from civil liability if he tries, in good faith, to help someone in danger.
It is meant to protect rescuers from being sued, as well as to encourage others to lend a helping hand.
Under Hawaii law, "Any person who in good faith renders emergency care, without remuneration or expectation of remuneration, at the scene of an accident or emergency to a victim of the accident or emergency shall not be liable for any civil damages resulting from the person's acts or omissions, except for such damages as may result from the person's gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions."
It also absolves rescuers from liability: "No act or omission of any rescue team or physician working in direct communication with a rescue team operating in conjunction with a hospital or an authorized emergency vehicle of the hospital or the State or county, while attempting to resuscitate any person who is in immediate danger of loss of life, shall impose any liability upon the rescue team, the physicians, or the owners or operators of such hospital or authorized emergency vehicle, if good faith is exercised."
Among other provisions, it also specifically says a person trained to use automatic external defibrillators is not liable for civil damages resulting from any act or omission while attempting to resuscitate someone in immediate danger when administering a defibrillator, except for gross negligence.
Q: Are those "Live Aloha" bumper stickers still available? I recently transferred from Hawaii to Pennsylvania and would love to spread aloha around my new home.
A: Yes, those popular stickers, featuring an ohia lehua blossom graphic designed by Big Island artist Sig Zane, are still available.
Just send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Live Aloha, 165 Waokanaka Place, Honolulu 96817.
They are free, but donations are welcomed to cover the cost of printing. Checks can be made out to "Live Aloha."
You can read how the stickers came to be: starbulletin.com/2005/06/23/news/kokualine.html.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com
. See also: Useful phone numbers