Senate Bill No. 135
(By Senators McKenzie, Weeks, Sprouse, Minear, Bowman, Oliverio,
Hunter, Kessler, Jenkins, Minard and Fanning)
[Introduced January 13, 2003; referred to the Committee on the
A BILL to amend article seven, chapter fifty-five of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section
twenty-one, relating to limiting the liability of physicians
who render services without remuneration to indigent
individuals in need of medical services.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article seven, chapter fifty-five of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section
twenty-one, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. ACTIONS FOR INJURIES.
§55-7-21. 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, shall 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.