Ipsen v. Diamond Tree Experts, Inc., 2020 UT 30 (May 20, 2020)
May 20, 2020
Injured while battling a mulch fire, a firefighter sued the owner of the property where the fire started for gross negligence, intentional harm, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. On appeal from entry of summary judgment in favor of the property owner, the supreme court clarified the “professional rescuer rule” announced in Fordham v. Oldroyd, 2007 UT 74, 171 P.3d 411, which holds that a person owes no duty of care to a professional rescuer for injuries resulting from the very negligence that occasioned the rescuer’s presence. The majority opinion held that the Fordham rule is limited to simple negligence, and that a person does owe a duty of care to a professional rescuer for injuries resulting from the gross negligence or intentional tort that occasioned the rescuer’s presence.