The Lamar Odom car accident in Queens resulted in the death of a 15-year old boy. And according to reports, onlookers were more interested in the Los Angeles Lakers' forward than they were in helping the dying teenager, Awsaf Islam.
The New York Daily News reports that a motorcycle hit the front bumper of a Cadillac Escalade carrying Odom. The motorcycle then spun out of control and struck Islam who was riding a scooter. Islam died shortly thereafter.
Odom was not driving the Escalade, but after the accident he stepped out to see what happened. As Islam lay dying, the Daily News reports that bystanders became starstruck and were more interested in Odom, a Queens native, than they were in helping the dying boy.
We’ve probably all seen videos of grisly accidents or injuries on the news or on Youtube. And in recent years, one common denominator in all these tragedies is the bystanders in the background simultaneously filming the event as the victim lies helpless.
While this trend may be morally reprehensible, there really is nothing technically wrong with the behavior — in the legal sense.
That’s because there’s no law that requires bystanders to help an injured or dying victim. Off-duty doctors, cops, firefighters, nurses, and trained EMT workers are not legally required to put down their phones and assist someone in need of aid when they are not working.
Awsaf Islam lay dying while onlookers sought to take pictures in the fatal Lamar Odom car accident. Sadly, there’s probably nothing wrong with that. Legally.
- Find a New York Personal Injury Attorney (FindLaw)
- Lamar Odom crash teen died because onlookers were ‘too busy trying to take photos of NBA star’ (Daily Mail)
- New York Good Samaritan Law (Laws of New York)
- Rescue Doctrine (FindLaw’s LawBrain)
- New York Good Samaritan Law? 10 People Lift Truck Off Biker in NJ (FindLaw’s Personal Injury Law Blog)