According to CBS (John Danks Sued For Failing to Call 911 After Man Fell In His Home), White Sox pitcher, John Danks, is being sued by Blake Pabst for an event which transpired in August 2010. Pabst is accusing Danks of failing to dial 911 after he was pushed off a concrete structure at Danks’ home. Pabst’s brother, Waylon, who allegedly pushed Blake, is joined to the lawsuit.
Although bizarre, a few genuine tort issues are raised. Pabst will likely pursue a negligence claim against Danks. To succeed, Pabst must prove (1) a duty be shown, (2) a breach of the duty, (3) causation, and (4) an injury in order to establish duty. Pabst’s lawyers are likely to argue that Pabst was an invited guest into Danks’ home. As the owner of the home, Danks owes a duty to invitees to maintain safe premises and to do no harm to invitees Accordingly, Pabst must allege that the concrete structure from which he fell was inherently dangerous. Even so, Danks’ attorneys would likely argue that the premises itself were safe and the injury was not caused by any negligence within the structure but rather the deliberate and intentional push by Blake’s brother, Waylon.
Pabst’s other legal argument is that when Danks moved him to the living room he caused further injury. This raises the Good Samaritan issue and whether liability should attach.
The final issue is whether Danks’ refusal to call 911 raises any legal liability. Although Danks likely did not have a duty to call 911 in the first place, he would not be allowed to stop others from making such a call. Pabst clearly has a question of fact to prove here and, in addition, must prove that the failure to call aggravated his injury.
Although all the facts are not provided, it seems that the Blake Pabst faces an uphill battle with his allegations against Danks. In fact, he probably has a stronger case against his brother. Unfortunately for him, his brother probably doesn’t have the deep pockets that Blake is seeking.
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