MARCH 24, 1997

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House passes Levick Act on to Senate

Levick Act House Bill 1186, known as the Joey Levick Act, was passed by the state's House of Representatives March 11 by a vote of 87-10. The bill makes it a crime to fail to summon assistance for a person who has suffered substantial bodily harm.
   The bill was named for Joey Levick, who died after being left in a ditch next to a busy highway by his assailants. The new law, however, would only apply in a narrow set of circumstances, including knowledge of somebody else's bodily harm.
   "There's no requirement to help if harm would come to you as a result," said Rep. Dave Schmidt, R-Bothell. "And if you have a duty to another person that prevents you from providing assistance, or if other individuals are available to help, then the requirement doesn't apply in those cases, either. We're only talking about situations ... where your clear and callous indifference can lead to the death of another."
   The bill addresses situations common to the Michael Schuerhoff and Levick cases. Under the proposed new law, the definition of "rendering criminal assistance" would be expanded to include actions by individuals who know a crime has taken place and then do nothing to help the victim. With the passage of the bill, individuals could be charged with a Class C felony or a gross misdemeanor.