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Alameda: Judge rules responders had no ‘legal duty’ to save drowning man

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A judge in Alameda dismissed a lawsuit brought by the family of a suicidal man who drowned at Crown Memorial State Beach in 2011 while police and fire personnel watched from the shore. Judge George Hernandez ruled that first responders were under no legal duty to help Raymond Zack, 52, and that police did not worsen Zack’s chances at survival by preventing private citizens from going into the water in an attempt to save him.

The Memorial Day drowning sparked outrage within Alameda and beyond. Police later said they didn’t attempt to save Zack, who didn’t know how to swim and who waded into water up to his neck, because they considered him possibly violent. Alameda firefighters said they weren’t certified in land-water rescue and didn’t have a boat that could maneuver in shallow water.

An attorney for the family says he’ll ask the judge to reconsider. Mercury News; Chronicle

Image: Oakland Local

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