An unnamed suspect shoved a New York man named Ki-Suck Han off the subway platform in Manhattan. According to sources, the suspect got into an argument with Han before pushing him off the platform and onto the tracks. Unfortunately, when Han tried climbing back up to the platform, it was too late. The train struck him before he could make it out alive.
A witness apparently videotaped part of the quarrel between the suspect and Han and submitted the recording to the police.
So if people had a chance to photograph and videotape the fallen man, why didn’t anyone help him up?
Do Bystanders Have a Duty to Rescue?
Generally, a bystander does not have a duty to rescue. This means that they cannot be held liable for not helping a person in danger. However, this rule has a few exceptions. For example, one has a duty to assist someone that she negligently or innocently placed in peril. Moreover, one has a duty to rescue another when there is a "special relationship" between them. "Special relationships" include those relationships between common carriers and patrons, parents and minor children, and spouses.
Even though there may be no legal duty to rescue a man in peril, what happened to moral duties? What would you have done?
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