CVS, the nationwide pharmacy, is looking into an allegation that has shocked the public in New Jersey. In Garwood, New Jersey, a woman began to have an asthma attack in front of a CVS and she and her boyfriend ran into the CVS to purchase an inhaler. He had only a $20 bill but the inhaler was $21, so the store reportedly refused to give it to her even after she fell to the floor.
The boyfriend states that he offered, in addition to the $20, his wallet cell phone and ids (which showed he lived around the corner) to cover the added dollar. He says that still refused. Fortunately he was able to call a paramedic who rushed over with an inhaler.
This would make for an interesting torts case. It would fall into the general rule that there is no duty to rescue. However, it would have been interesting if the boyfriend had just grabbed an inhaler under a claim of private necessity (though this is likely impossible since the inhalers are presumably kept behind the counter). Under private necessity, he would still have to pay for the inhaler — eventually.
What is clear is that, for roughly one dollar, CVS have cost itself millions in really bad publicity.