By securing information on a lost mountain biker’s likely location, posting deputies at trailheads, appointing an Incident Commander, and setting a time to start searching the following morning, the Sheriff’s Dept. undertook the responsibility of searching for the missing biker and owed a duty of care to perform the search in a reasonable manner so as not to increase the risk of harm and so as to follow through after having induced others to rely on it for the search. The Sheriff’s Department allegedly breached that duty by failing to conduct the search until the following morning by which time the biker had died of hypothermia.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 2 (Miller, J.); November 20, 2018 (modified December 13, 2018); 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 1175