In general, if you voluntarily take a job that involves risk (like being a fireman), then the assumption of risk doctrine says that if you get hurt doing your job, you can’t sue for damages. However, this rule isn’t absolute. For example, in the case of Siragusa v. Swedish Hospital (60 Wash.2d 310, 373 P.2d 767 (1962)), a nurse was injured when she was hit with a swinging door. The Court found although there is an implicit assumption of risk for workers, this doctrine only applies to dangers ordinarily incident to the workplace. The owner has a responsibility to provide a safe workplace and workers do not assume all risks, they only assume risks inherent in the job.

  • If Siragusa had been pricked with a dirty needle, that could be considered an inherent risk of being a nurse. But getting whacked with a door is not a risk that a nurse normally assumed.