New Jersey Judge Says Lifeguard Can’t Be Sued Over Beach Collision

July 16, 2019

A New Jersey judge has ruled that a lifeguard who collided with a woman as he ran to cover a vacated lifeguard stand is protected by state’s Good Samaritan Act.

The woman had sued North Wildwood, its beach patrol and lifeguard Zachary Palombo over the September 2015 collision.

Palombo heard a call about a distressed swimmer and ran to cover the vacated stand on a busy Labor Day weekend. He soon collided with a woman walking near the water.

A 4-pound plastic rescue torpedo Palombo was carrying struck her in the face, breaking her nose.

A judge ruled Palombo was protected by the law that grants immunity to emergency responders unless their actions are determined to be negligent.

The woman had cited Palombo’s “out of control” conduct, noting he wasn’t running to a rescue or to assist an injured person.

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