Here’s a round-up of interesting cases from this week, as reported by our Daily Opinion Summary writers.
From the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Ochoa v. Workman, which looked at the Atkins standard of mental retardation in a capital case. In that case, the petitioner argued that the trial court erred in applying the Atkins test to his mental condition at the time of trial instead of at the time of the crime. The Court denied his petition.
From the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, we have Higgins v. R.I. Hosp.
This case offered an interesting application of the firefighter’s rule, which bars public-safety officials from “maintaining a negligence action against a tortfeasor whose alleged malfeasance is responsible for bringing the officer to the scene of [an]…emergency where the officer is injured.” The plaintiff here brought a patient to the hospital while working as an EMT/firefighter. After he delivered his patient, he assisted a nurse with a disorderly patient, who seriously injured the plaintiff. The district court and Supreme Court found the firefighter’s rule barred the plaintiff’s recovery even though the plaintiff’s injury did not arise from the same circumstances that originally brought him to the scene.