Police Officer Accidentally Shot by Highway Patrol Officer
In Calatayud v. State of California (1998), two California Highway Patrol officers responded to a reported shooting and on arrival at the scene attempted to detain the suspect.
Pasadena Police Officer Calatayud responded to an "officer needs assistance" call, drove to the scene and during his assistance of the Highway Patrol officers in detaining the suspect was accidentally shot by one of the Highway Patrol officers.
Officer Calatayud sued the State of California and the Highway Patrol officer who accidentally shot him. the defendants unsuccessfully interposed the firefighter's rule as a bar to liability and the jury returned a verdict for Officer Calatayud that resulted in a $ 400,000 judgment in his favor.
The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment, finding the section 1714.9(a)(1) exception to the firefighter's rule applicable. the California Supreme Court granted review to determine the scope of the section 1714.9(a)(1) exception to the firefighter's rule. (18 Cal. 4th at p. 1061.)
Calatayud addressed the question whether the phrase "any person" in section 1714.9(a)(1) "includes public safety members employed by a different agency." (Calatayud, supra, 18 Cal. 4th at p. 1064.)
It found "no evidence the Legislature used the phrase 'any person' to encompass other jointly involved public safety members or to extend the scope of section 1714.9(a)(1) to injury caused by them." (Id. at p. 1068.)
"Viewed in context, the provision demonstrates singular concern with the prototypical case in which the firefighter's rule is invoked to shield a defendant whose original misconduct occasioned an officer's presence and whose subsequent acts caused injury.
Manifestly, that was 'the evil to be prevented by the legislation.'
Thus, whatever literal meaning 'any person' may have in other contexts, applying it to fellow officers also involved in responding to the original misconduct does not ' "conform to the spirit of the act." (Ibid.)