YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The New Jersey Senate Law & Public Safety Committee unanimously approved a bill today that would make protect paid first aid, ambulance or rescue companies from certain civil damages.
Under current New Jersey law, non-volunteer first aid, ambulance or rescue companies are not provided immunity from civil damages as the result of an act or the omission of an act committed while in training for or in the rendering of intermediate life support services in good faith.
“Emergency squads can be empowered knowing that they will not be sued for doing whatever it takes to try and save lives and prevent injuries,” said Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset), the bill’s sponsor.
“This bill assures that they are not liable for any civil damages after rendering good-faith life support services,” Bateman said.
The ,measure was introduced in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling last year, in Murray v. Plainfield Rescue Squad, that held that rescue squads that provided intermediate and basic life support services aren’t immune from lawsuits.
Lawmakers in Trenton are now acting to close that gap.
The proposed law approved by the Senate panel today says: “No EMT–intermediate, licensed physician, hospital or its board of trustees, officers and members of the medical staff, nurses or other employees of the hospital, or officers and members of a first aid, ambulance or rescue squad shall be liable for any civil damages as the result of an act or the omission of an act committed while in training for or in the rendering of intermediate life support services in good faith and in accordance with this act.”
An Assembly version must be approved and the full measure then signed by Gov. Christie to become law.
PHOTO: Boyd A. Loving