Apodaca v. WillmoreAnnotate this Case
At issue in this case was whether the firefighter’s rule should be extended to law enforcement officers. Officer Juan Apodaca and Officer Jonathan Dulaney suffered serious injuries after attempting to help Matthew Willmore, who had fallen asleep at the wheel. The officers filed a petition alleging that Willmore’s negligence caused them to suffer personal injuries and related damages. They also asserted a claim of negligent entrustment against Willmore’s father. The Willmores filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that the firefighter’s rule barred the officer’s claims. Thereafter, Officer Dulaney dismissed his claims against the Willmores. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Willmores, concluding (1) the firefighter’s rule “should be and is extended to law enforcement officers”; and (2) the firefighter’s rule barred Officer Apodaca from recovering in this action because he was acting within the scope of his duties as a law enforcement officer at the time of the accident. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the firefighter’s rule, first enunciated in Calvert v. Garvey Elevators, Inc., is extended to law enforcement officers; and (2) the district judge correctly granted summary judgment to Defendants on all claims because of application of the firefighter’s rule.