Maldonado v. S. Pac. Transp. Co.

129 Ariz. 165, 629 P.2d 1001 (Ct. App. 1981)

 

RULE:

When reviewing a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a court of appeals presumes that the facts alleged in the complaint are true. The test to be applied in resolving whether the complaint established that appellant is entitled to relief under any theory of law is whether the complaint, taken in the light most favorable to appellant, is sufficient to constitute a valid claim.

FACTS:

An injured party suffered serious wounds when he fell under the wheels of a train. The injured party alleged that he suffered additional injuries as a result of the railroad company's failure to render assistance, interference with a savior, and failure to call for medical help or report the injury. The trial court dismissed the claims that were based on the alleged additional injuries. The case was appealed to the Court of Appeals of Arizona.

ISSUE:

Was the railroad company liable for failure to render assistance?

ANSWER:

Yes

CONCLUSION:

The court held that the complaint stated a claim for failure to render assistance because the railroad company had a duty to prevent further harm where the initial injury was caused by an instrumentality under the railroad company's control. The court held that the claim for interference with a savior was properly dismissed because the complaint alleged that the third parties who sought to help the injured party disregarded the railroad company's efforts to prevent the rendering of aid. The court ruled that the trial court did not err in dismissing the claim for failure to call for medical help because Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 40-423(A), which required railroads to report accidents to the Arizona Corporation Commission, did not require the railroad company to report to a medical facility.

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