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Introduced Version House Bill 2518 History

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hb2518 intr
H. B. 2518


         (By Delegates Perry, M. Poling and Stowers)
         [Introduced February 18, 2013; referred to the
         Committee on Education then the Judiciary.]




A BILL to repeal section §55-7-19 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-2-25a; to amend and reenact §29-12-5a of said code; and to amend and reenact §55-7-15 of said code, all relating to establishing protocols and protections to limit and treat injury to youth athletes and students; making findings with respect to concussions; defining certain terms and requiring Secondary School Activities Commission rule addressing concussions and head injuries; specifying certain minimum provisions of rule; requiring inclusion of volunteer workers and student teachers under the professional and liability coverage provided to county school boards by Board Of Risk and Insurance Management; including licensed health care professional within term "volunteer worker" with certain conditions and limiting civil liability; including medical assistance rendered by licensed medical professional without remuneration to youth athlete as equivalent to emergency care at scene of accident or medical emergency for protection from liability for civil damages; and including scheduled practices within term "event."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
  That section §55-7-19 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-2-25a; that §29-12-5a of said code be amended and reenacted; and that §55-7-15 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-2-25a. Management of concussions and head injuries in athletics at West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission member high school or middle school.
_____(a) The Legislature finds:
_____(1) Concussions are one of the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities. The centers for disease control and prevention estimates that as many as three million nine hundred thousand sports-related and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year;
_____(2) A concussion is caused by a blow or motion to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. The risk of catastrophic injuries or death are significant when a concussion or head injury is not properly evaluated and managed;
_____(3) Concussions are a type of brain injury that can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works;
_____(4) Concussions can occur in any organized or unorganized sport or recreational activity and can result from a fall or from players colliding with each other, the ground or with obstacles;
_____(5) Concussions occur with or without loss of consciousness, but the vast majority occur without loss of consciousness;
_____(6) Continuing to play or practice with a concussion or symptoms of head injury leaves the interscholastic athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury and even death; and
_____(7) Even with generally recognized return to play and practice standards for concussion and head injury, some affected interscholastic athletes are prematurely returned to play or practice resulting in actual or potential physical injury or death to the athletes in the State of West Virginia.
_____(b) For the purposes of this section, "interscholastic athlete" means any athlete who is participating in interscholastic athletics at a high school or middle school that is a member of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, and "licensed health care professional" means a health care provider whose licensed scope of practice includes the ability to diagnose and treat an injury or disease.
_____(c) The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission shall promulgate rules pursuant to section twenty-five of this article that address concussions and head injuries in interscholastic athletes:
Provided, That prior to state board approval and notwithstanding the exemption provided in section three, article one, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the state board shall submit the rule to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability pursuant to section nine, article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
_____(d) The rules required by this section shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
_____(1) Guidelines and other pertinent information and forms to inform and educate appropriate school administrators, coaches, interscholastic athletes and their parents or guardians of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury including continuing to play or practice after a concussion or head injury;
_____(2) A concussion and head injury information sheet that shall be signed and returned by the interscholastic athlete and the athlete's parent or guardian on an annual basis before the interscholastic athlete begins practice or competition;
_____(3) A requirement that each head coach of an interscholastic sport at a high school or middle school that is a member of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission complete a commission-approved concussion and head injury recognition and return-to-play protocol course annually;
_____(4) An interscholastic athlete who is suspected by a licensed health care professional or by his or her head coach or athletic trainer of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time;
_____(5) An interscholastic athlete who has been removed from play or practice may not return to play or practice until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and receives written clearance to return to play and practice from the licensed health care professional;
_____(6) A list of the respective categories of licensed health care professionals who, if properly trained in the evaluation and management of concussions, are authorized to provide written clearance for the interscholastic athlete to return to play; and
_____(7) A requirement that all member schools must submit a report to the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission within thirty days of an interscholastic athlete suffering or being suspected of suffering a concussion or head injury in a practice or game. The report must state whether an evaluation by a licensed health care professional verified that a concussion or head injury was actually suffered, whether the athlete received written clearance to return to play or practice and, if written clearance was given, the number of days between the incident and the actual return to play or practice. If written clearance to return to play is given after thirty days of the incident, a report update shall be submitted then. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission shall compile and submit the reports to the appropriate state and national organization or agencies to analyze and make determinations on whether the rule required by this section or equipment worn by interscholastic athlete needs to be amended accordingly.
__________

CHAPTER 29. MISCELLANEOUS BOARDS AND OFFICERS.

ARTICLE 12. STATE INSURANCE.
§29-12-5a. Liability insurance for county boards of education, their employees and members, the county superintendent of schools, and for employees and officers of the state Department of Corrections.

              (a) In accordance with the provisions of this article, the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management shall provide appropriate professional or other liability insurance for all county boards of education, teachers, supervisory and administrative staff members, service personnel, county superintendents of schools, and school board members, volunteer workers and student teachers, and for all employees and officers of the state Department of Corrections: Provided, That the board of Risk and Insurance Management is not required to provide insurance for every property, activity or responsibility of county boards of education, teachers, supervisory and administrative staff members, service personnel, county superintendents of schools, and school board members, volunteer workers and student teachers, and for all employees and officers of the state Department of Corrections.
              (b) Insurance provided by the board of Risk and Insurance Management pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall cover claims, demands, actions, suits or judgments by reason of alleged negligence or other acts resulting in bodily injury or property damage to any person within or without any school building or correctional institution if, at the time of the alleged injury, the teacher, supervisor, administrator, service personnel employee, county superintendent, school board member, volunteer worker or student teacher, or employee or officer of the Department of Corrections was acting in the discharge of his or her duties, within the scope of his or her office, position or employment, under the direction of the Board of Education or Commissioner of Corrections or in an official capacity as a county superintendent or as a school board member or as Commissioner of Corrections.
              (c) Insurance coverage provided by the Board of Risk and Insurance Management pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be in an amount to be determined by the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management, but in no event less than $1 million for each occurrence. In addition, each county board of education shall purchase, through the Board of Risk and Insurance Management, excess coverage of at least $5 million for each occurrence. The cost of this excess coverage will be paid by the respective county boards of education. Any insurance purchased under this section shall be obtained from a company licensed to do business in this state.
              (d) The insurance policy provided by the Board of Risk and Insurance Management pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall include comprehensive coverage, personal injury coverage, malpractice coverage, corporal punishment coverage, legal liability coverage as well as a provision for the payment of the cost of attorney's fees in connection with any claim, demand, action, suit or judgment arising from such alleged negligence or other act resulting in bodily injury under the conditions specified in this section.
              (e) The county superintendent and other school personnel, volunteer worker and student teacher shall be defended by the county board or an insurer in the case of suit, unless the act or omission shall not have been within the course or scope of employment or official responsibility or was motivated by malicious or criminal intent.
              (f) For the purposes of this section, "volunteer worker" includes, but is not limited to, a licensed health care professional who renders services of a medical nature to students under an agreement with a county board that defines the scope of his or her duties as such and for which no remuneration is demanded or received. A licensed health care professional is not be liable for any civil damages as a result of rendering such services, or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment, in accordance with acceptable standards of care, to an extent greater than the applicable limits of the professional liability insurance provided by the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management pursuant to this section and in effect at the time. Nothing in this subsection nullifies the immunity from civil liability as granted pursuant to section fifteen, article seven, chapter fifty-five of this code or federal law except to the extent to which the actions are covered within the applicable limits of the professional liability insurance provided by the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management pursuant to this section and in effect at the time.
CHAPTER 55. ACTIONS, SUITS AND ARBITRATION;

JUDICIAL SALE.

ARTICLE 7. ACTIONS FOR INJURIES.
§55-7-15. Aid to victim of accident and victim of crime; immunity from civil liability.
              No person, including a person licensed to practice medicine or dentistry, who in good faith renders emergency care at the scene of an accident or medical emergency or to a victim at the scene of a crime, without remuneration, shall be is liable for any civil damages as the result of any act or omission in rendering such emergency care.
              For the purposes of this section, "scene of an accident or medical emergency" also includes a youth athletic event, including a school sponsored or interscholastic athletic event, at which assistance of a medical nature is rendered in an emergency situation by a licensed medical professional, for which no remuneration is demanded or received, to an athlete injured while participating in the event. For the purposes of this section, "athletic event" includes scheduled practices.

              NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish protocols and protections to help limit injuries to youth athletes and students and improve the treatment of them. In particular, the bill emphasizes the protocols for removal and return to play following concussions in interscholastic sports regulated by the WV Secondary School Activities Commission.

              Strike-throughs indicate existing language that would be removed, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

              §18-2-25a is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.

              This bill was recommended for introduction and passage during the Regular Session of the Legislature by the Joint Standing Committee on Education.
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