Senate Bill No. 359
(By Senators Minard, Jenkins, Minear, Plymale, Sharpe and
[Introduced January 24, 2003; referred to the Committee on
Banking and Insurance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section eight-c, article fifteen,
chapter eight of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the donation of
firefighting and fire rescue equipment; and insurance policies
dealing with immunity coverage provisions.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section eight-c, article fifteen, chapter eight of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 15. FIRE FIGHTING; FIRE COMPANIES AND DEPARTMENTS; CIVIL
SERVICE FOR PAID FIRE DEPARTMENTS.
§8-15-8c. Donation of equipment.
(a) Effective the first day of July, two thousand two, no
person, company or other organization who donates fire control or rescue equipment, including federal excess or surplus property, to
a volunteer fire department is subject to civil liability for any
personal injury, property damages or death resulting from any
defect in the equipment unless the person, company or organization
acted with malice, gross negligence, recklessness or intentional
misconduct which proximately caused the personal injury, property
damages or death.
(b) For purposes of this section, "fire control or rescue
equipment" means a vehicle, fire fighting tool, protective gear,
breathing apparatus or other supply or tool used in fire fighting
or fire rescue. No breathing apparatus may be donated unless,
prior to donation, it has been recertified to the manufacturer's
specifications by a technician approved by the manufacturer.
(c) Any insurance policy providing coverage for liability
sold, issued or delivered in this state to any person, company or
other organization who donates fire control or rescue equipment
provide be read so as to contain a provision that the insurer
be barred and estopped from relying upon the immunity granted in
this section against claims or suits covered by the terms of the
policy within the policy limits, unless the provision or
endorsement is rejected in writing by the insured.
The limitation on civil liability set forth in the provisions
of this section applies only to policies of insurance issued or
renewed on or after
July 1, 2001 the first day of July, two thousand one.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to ensure that the language
dealing with insurance policies for the donation of fire fighting
and fire rescue equipment is consistent with the language required
for insurance policies in W.Va. Code §19-25-7 and W.Va. Code §20-
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would