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Introduced Version House Bill 3218 History

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hb3218 intr
H. B. 3218


(By Delegates Amores, Craig, Armstead, Caputo, DeLong, Ellem, Mahan, Schadler, Stemple and R. Thompson)


[Introduced March 24, 2005 ; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §15-5-11 and §15-5-12 of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to immunities and limitations extended in association with the provision of emergency services; limitations on liability arising out of free or volunteer services in the planning and response to a declared state of emergency or national disaster in conjunction with an emergency preparedness plan.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §15-5-11 and §15-5-12 of the code of West Virginia, 1931, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. EMERGENCY SERVICES.

§15-5-11. Immunity and exemption;"duly qualified emergency service worker" defined.

(a) All functions hereunder and all other activities relating to emergency services are hereby declared to be governmental functions. As such, the provision of emergency services, including the advice and assistance provided by hospitals, corporations, physicians and other persons to the state or its political subdivisions in the formulation and execution of a local or state emergency plan pursuant to the provisions of this article are governmental functions which are entitled to the immunities and liability limitations which are extended to the state and its political subdivisions, as long as such emergency response and planning activities are being performed for and at the request, direction and supervision of the state or its political subdivisions. Neither the state nor any political subdivision nor any agency of the state or political subdivision nor, except in cases of willful misconduct, any hospital, corporation, physician or other person performing emergency services under contract with or subject to the order or control or pursuant to the request of the state or any of its political subdivisions, including any duly qualified emergency service worker complying with or reasonably attempting to comply with this article or any order, rule, regulation or ordinance promulgated pursuant to this article, shall be liable for the death of or injury to any person or for damage to any property as a result of such activity. This section shall not affect the right of any person to receive benefits or compensation to which he would otherwise be entitled under this article, chapter twenty-three of this code, any act of Congress or any other law.
(b) Any requirement for a license to practice any professional, mechanical or other skill shall not apply to an authorized emergency service worker who shall, in the course of performing his duties, practice such skill during an emergency.
(c) As used in this section, "duly qualified emergency service worker" means:
(1) Any duly qualified full or part-time paid, volunteer or auxiliary employee of this state, or any other state, territory, possession or the District of Columbia, of the federal government, of any neighboring country or political subdivision thereof or of any agency or organization performing emergency services in this state subject to the order or control of or pursuant to the request of the state or any political subdivision thereof.
(2) Duly qualified instructors and properly supervised students in recognized educational programs where emergency services are taught. A recognized educational program shall include any program in an educational institution existing under the laws of this state and such other educational programs as shall be established by the office of emergency services or otherwise under this article.
(d) A duly qualified emergency service worker performing his duty in this state pursuant to any lawful agreement, compact or arrangement for mutual aid and assistance to which the state or a political subdivision is a party shall possess the same powers, duties, immunities and privileges he would possess if performing the same duties in his own state, province or political subdivision thereof.
§15-5-12. Liability to with respect to premises or real estate used for shelter, treatment or other emergency services purposes.

Any person owning or controlling real estate or other premises who voluntarily and without compensation grants a license or privilege or otherwise permits the designation or use of the whole or any part of such real estate or premises for the purpose of sheltering or treating persons during an actual, impending, mock or practice emergency or for the purpose of managing equipment, supplies or other resources shall, together with his successors in interest, if any, not be civilly liable for negligently causing the death of or injury to any sheltered or treated person on or about such real estate or premises or for loss of or damage to the property of any such sheltered or treated person.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make it clear that any hospital, corporation, physician or other person performing emergency services under contract with or subject to the order or control of the state or any of its political subdivisions, at the request of the state or any of its political subdivisions, is entitled to the existing limitations on liability that is extended to such emergency services activities, in accordance with the provisions of Code §§15-5-11 and 15-5-12.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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