Letter: Beware of sovereign immunity when doing the 'right thing'

Published:

Sovereign immunity?

On Memorial Day my son did what would be considered the "right thing" and pulled over to help an older couple whose car had ended up in a ditch. He pulled off the road on to a side street. Hudson Police called in Hudson EMS and let them know that there was another vehicle on the scene helping. Long story short, the EMS vehicle ran into our car.

Wichert Insurance (city of Hudson insurance company) informed us that under a state law, sovereign immunity, we are responsible for repairing our vehicle. After two calls to Hudson's interim city manager, and no returned call, I want everyone to know of what can happen in these situations. What kind of message does this send to people who try to do the "right thing?" This is why people in general "don't get involved" when common sense dictates otherwise. Some would say, the law is the law. I say, do the "right thing," city of Hudson.

I was also told that if this incident had not been an emergency situation, the city would have covered our deductible. I suppose that is some consolation in that type of situation, but I still ask why is the city not responsible for their actions no matter what? Basically, government employees or representatives (i.e. volunteers) can do what ever they want and not be liable. Sign me up for that job.

Will I or my son stop to help someone in need in the future? Of course, because that's doing the "right thing." We'll just make sure our vehicle is parked three blocks away and hope the injured people can wait for us to get back to them in time. Everyone beware of Sovereign Immunity, but do the "right thing."

Carl St. John, Hudson

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