Man In Sweden Caught On Tape Robbing Unconscious Man And Then Leaving Him on Track To Be Run Over By Train

Tunisan Nadar Khiari, 28, will soon be back on his way to Tunisia and should consider himself fortunate that he avoided a longer stay in Sweden after an despicable crime caught on camera. Khiari was waiting for a train when he saw a drunk man fall on to the train tracks. At first, the video below suggests that Khiari is coming to the man’s aid. Instead, Khiari jumps down and robs the unconscious man and leaves him on the tracks where the man is struck and lost his foot (but miraculously survived).

Unlike many countries, Sweden does not have a good Samaritan law requiring either low-risk rescue (which might not be the case in jumping on to train tracks) or, more importantly, alerting police or authorities to someone in peril. In that sense, Sweden follows the same approach as the United States with a “no duty to rescue rule.” Indeed, we have had such cases on train tracks involving station employees.

Given the lack of a rescue rule, Swedish court ordered Nadar Khiari to pay just $1,800 in damages to his victim and ordered him to be deported after serving his 1 1/2 year sentence. It is a pretty light sentence given the fact that he robbed a helpless man and left him to die. It is particularly light given that fact that Khiari was also convicted of an earlier theft.

Khiari is one of those people who sees suffering and wants to benefit from it. He stole the man’s cellphone, a silver case and a gold necklace.

In the United States, the no duty rule was the basis for the famous ruling in Yania v. Bigan, 397 Pa. 316, 155 A.2d 343 (1959) where a man watched another man drown without taking any efforts to assist him. Even though Bigan dared Yania to jump into the hole full of water, the court found that this made no difference since these taunts were “directed to an adult in full possession of all his mental faculties constitutes actionable negligence is not only without precedent but completely without merit.” On the rule itself, the Court wrote:

Lastly, it is urged that Bigan failed to take the necessary steps to rescue Yania from the water. The mere fact that Bigan saw Yania in a position of peril in the water imposed upon him no legal, although a moral, obligation or duty to go to his rescue unless Bigan was legally responsible, in whole or in part, for placing Yania in the perilous position: Restatement, Torts, § 314. Cf: Restatement, Torts, § 322. The language of this Court in Brown v. French, 104 Pa. 604, 607, 608, is apt: “If it appeared that the deceased, by his own carelessness, contributed in any degree to the accident which caused the loss of his life, the defendants ought not to have been held to answer for the consequences resulting from that accident. … He voluntarily placed himself in the way of danger, and his death was the result of his own act. … That his undertaking was an exceedingly reckless and dangerous one, the event proves, but there was no one to blame for it but himself. He had the right to try the experiment, obviously dangerous as it was, but then also upon him rested the consequences of that experiment, and upon no one else; he may have been, and probably was, ignorant of the risk which he was taking upon himself, or knowing it, and trusting to his own skill, he may have regarded it as easily superable. But in either case, the result of his ignorance, or of his mistake, must rest with himself – and cannot be charged to the defendants”. The complaint does not aver any facts which impose upon Bigan legal responsibility for placing Yania in the dangerous position in the water and, absent such legal responsibility, the law imposes on Bigan no duty of rescue.

Recognizing that the deceased Yania is entitled to the benefit of the presumption that he was exercising due care and extending to appellant the benefit of every well pleaded fact in this complaint and the fair inferences arising therefrom, yet we can reach but one conclusion: that Yania, a reasonable and prudent adult in full possession of all his mental faculties, undertook to perform an act which he knew or should have known was attended with more or less peril and it was the performance of that act and not any conduct upon Bigan’s part which caused his unfortunate death.

Of course, Bigan did not first rob Yania before he slipped beneath the water. The Swedish case however highlights the distinction between low cost and high cost rescues. Judge Richard Posner, one of the most important names in the law and economics movement, has written that it would be efficient for the United States to modify its common law rule to require low cost rescues. Such rescues, including calling the police, can avoid huge costs (as here) at little cost. This cost differential supports what Posner says is the economics of altruism. Other writers like Leslie Bender from a feminist perspective have also criticized the “no duty to rescue” rule.

Source: National Post

55 thoughts on “Man In Sweden Caught On Tape Robbing Unconscious Man And Then Leaving Him on Track To Be Run Over By Train”

  1. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. Bron,

    AY mentioned the Koch Bros as exemplars for uncontrolled greed. Nothing wrong with that because that is what they are as demonstrated by their actions: venal and amoral. I know this makes them saintly to the property rights uber alles crowd who mistakenly think Locke’s language is in the Constitution (when it isn’t), but one man’s demon has always been another man’s angel.

    You two choose to run with the property rights topic, which again have little to do with this column and nothing to do with Good Samaritan laws.

  3. A professor of mine once remarked that I have an obsession with consistency. In the case of this blog, I am struck by the inconsistencies involved in pretending anyone in most western cultures/legal systems can be “robbed,” given that there is no so-called private property that a majority can’t take for itself or any other on a whim; and the notion that an individual can be held legally responsible for the life of someone else, but the law cannot hold him culpable for the support and preservation of his own life.

    Frankly, I find the contradictions bordering on the insane.

  4. enoch:

    the founders decided that property rights are not absolute otherwise they would not have allowed for taking for the public good. in their defense they never imagined that a town would take a persons property to give to another private entity. And they probably figured that government would give fair compensation and that elected officials would not use their office to gain from condemnations of land or relocation of roads, etc.

  5. None of which still is related to the issue presented by this column except in the very most tangential way which is primarily Good Samaritan laws.

  6. Bron – That brings me back to the notion of objective rights. If it is okay to premise a right one some trope, what not every and any trope? If we can abridge some rights of the wealthy – because they are wealthy – why not all rights? And if because of wealth, why not because of skin color, gender…whatever?

    By what principle can we decide what tropes we may abridge rights on the basis of, and those we cannot…except “majority rule,” and history has given us far too many examples of where that can lead.

  7. OED defines sacred as

    sacred /ˈseɪkrɪd/, adj.,
    :connected with God or a god or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration

    So to an Objectivist, sacred might be the right word choice. Unfortunately, the 1st Amendment’s Establishment Clause keeps them from forcing their religious views on others via the force of law. But if you have no issue with property rights not being absolute? Well then, you’re in luck, because they aren’t according to the Constitution and the relevant jurisprudence.

    None of which still is related to the issue presented by this column except in the very most tangential way which is primarily Good Samaritan laws.

  8. Gene H:

    property rights should be sacred, not absolute.

    I would have thought you would know that.

  9. And Bron hits at the bait.

    Other than the heroes of the greedy, the Kochs, being used as an example of greed by AY? Property rights have got squat to do with the situation presented in this article other than the victim was not just abandoned in imminent danger, but robbed by a scumbag. It’s a big leap from that to the “what about my (absolute) property rights!” whining.

    I’m just sayin’.

  10. Anonymously Yours – And your problem with, “mine,” is? Isn’t the food stamp that someone gets at the end of the month, “theirs,” too? And if what isn’t the Koch bros. theirs, why should the food stamp recipient’s be his?

    Or do we have a sliding schedule of property rights? If you have more than “x,” it isn’t yours; but, if you have less than “y,” it is?

  11. did the guy pull him out of the way? so that he only lost a foot. what is not seen? Just because a guy robs you doesnt mean he isnt trying to help you. Look at DC and politicians.

  12. They got it…. I want it….. It’s mine….. Koch brothers handbook…


  13. “Khiari is one of those people who sees suffering and wants to benefit from it.”

    A politician?

  14. You are a bit off-track here JT. The jerk robbed a man in peril. All this duty to save crap is an aside. Once he touched him he had a duty to move him off the track. It is called the Swedish Track Doctrine and has been around for as long as there have been railroads in Sweden. They deported him because they wanted to punish his home country with his presence. He is a repeat offfender as evidenced by the fact that every time you hit the start button on that screen up there he does it again. Res ipsa.

  15. This brings the Hart/Devlin debate to mind, regarding the legal enforcement of morals.

    It also, though, puts in sharp relief the contradictory claims of most western societies and legal systems: private property is a myth, and government is responsible, first, to keep you safe and, in the event one stumbles into danger/want/misfortune, to relieve the poor fellow of the same.

    “You didn’t make that” ultimately refers to money, to which the state, through ballot boxes, exerts a first claim. If the robber in this case injured anyone by his theft, it was Sweden’s internal revenue apparatus.

    As for the fellow’s plight on the tracks (to paraphrase Scrooge), “Are there no police, no transit workers?” After all, it was on the backs of these and so many others that the tracks, the train, the people’s fare money, medical technology, food (and the vitality wherewith to rescue the poor fellow) were made: it is no individual’s duty to help him.

    Or, we can return to the individual, and charge him with as much responsibility as we credit him for his conduct/achievements.

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