Senate Bill No. 131
(By Senators McKenzie, Barnes, Foster, Jenkins and Deem)
[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §55-7-23,
limiting the liability of physicians who render services
without remuneration to indigent individuals in need of
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §55-7-23,
to read as
ARTICLE 7. ACTIONS FOR INJURIES.
§55-7-23. Liability of physicians who render medical services
without remuneration to indigent individuals.
(a) Any person licensed to practice medicine and surgery
pursuant to the provisions of article three, chapter thirty of this
code or any person licensed to practice medicine and surgery as an osteopathic physician and surgeon pursuant to the provisions of
article fourteen, chapter thirty of this code: (1) Who renders
medical services, without remuneration, to an indigent individual;
and (2) who gratuitously and in good faith renders the medical
services to the indigent individual, without objection from the
indigent individual, may not be held liable for any civil damages
as a result of the care or treatment rendered.
(b) The limitation of liability established by the provisions
of this section does not apply to acts or omissions constituting
gross negligence. For purposes of this section, the term
"indigent" means a person who is without the monetary resources to
obtain medical services.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow physicians to
render medical services to indigent individuals without fear of
civil liability. This liability limitation will not apply to acts
or omissions constituting gross negligence.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.