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S.B. 172

             1     

IMMUNITY OF VOLUNTEERS

             2     
1999 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Sponsor: John L. Valentine

             5      AN ACT RELATING TO THE JUDICIAL CODE; PROVIDING FOR IMMUNITY FOR
             6      VOLUNTEERS FOR NONPROFIT, CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS, ENACTING A FOOD
             7      DONOR IMMUNITY ACT; AND MAKING TECHNICAL CHANGES.
             8      This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
             9      ENACTS:
             10          78-19-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             11          78-19-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             12          78-19-201, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             13          78-19-202, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             14          78-19-301, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             15          78-19-302, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             16      RENUMBERS AND AMENDS:
             17          78-19-103, (Renumbered from 78-19-1, as enacted by Chapter 4, Laws of Utah 1990)
             18          78-19-203, (Renumbered from 78-11-22, as last amended by Chapter 211, Laws of Utah
             19      1987)
             20          78-19-401, (Renumbered from 78-19-2, as enacted by Chapter 4, Laws of Utah 1990)
             21          78-19-402, (Renumbered from 78-19-3, as enacted by Chapter 4, Laws of Utah 1990)
             22      REPEALS:
             23          78-11-22.1, as enacted by Chapter 106, Laws of Utah 1989
             24      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             25          Section 1. Section 78-19-101 is enacted to read:
             26     
CHAPTER 19. UTAH VOLUNTEER PROTECTION ACT

             27     
Part 1. General Provisions


             28          78-19-101. Title.
             29          This chapter is known as the "Utah Volunteer Protection Act."
             30          Section 2. Section 78-19-102 is enacted to read:
             31          78-19-102. Findings -- Purpose.
             32          (1) The Legislature finds and declares that:
             33          (a) the government and people of Utah are greatly benefitted by services provided by
             34      volunteers working with nonprofit charitable organizations;
             35          (b) the willingness of volunteers to offer their services may be deterred by the potential
             36      for liability claims and suits against them;
             37          (c) those who receive volunteer services and who may become the victims of wrongful
             38      volunteer conduct should have a remedy at law for injuries and damages suffered as a result of the
             39      wrongful conduct; and
             40          (d) protection of volunteerism and of the potential victims of volunteerism through
             41      clarification and limitation of liability risks and responsibilities is an appropriate subject for state
             42      legislation.
             43          (2) The purpose of this chapter is to promote volunteerism in the state and sustain the
             44      availability of nonprofit organizations, that depend upon volunteer contributions by providing
             45      certain protections from liability related to volunteering, while at the same time recognizing the
             46      rights of the recipients of volunteer services to have remedies for injuries and damages that they
             47      may suffer as a result of wrongful conduct on the part of volunteers.
             48          Section 3. Section 78-19-103 , which is renumbered from Section 78-19-1 is renumbered
             49      and amended to read:
             50           [78-19-1].     78-19-103. Definitions.
             51          As used in this chapter:
             52          (1) "Bodily injury" or "injury" means physical, nonphysical, economic, and noneconomic
             53      harm to a person.
             54          [(1)] (2) "Damage or injury" [includes physical, nonphysical, economic, and noneconomic
             55      damage] means bodily injury or property damage.
             56          [(2)] (3) "Financially secure source of recovery" means that, at the time of the incident, a
             57      nonprofit organization:
             58          (a) has an insurance policy in effect that covers the activities of the volunteer and has an


             59      insurance limit of not less than the limits established under the Utah Governmental Immunity Act
             60      in Section 63-30-34 ; or
             61          (b) has established a qualified trust with a value not less than the combined limits for
             62      property damage and single occurrence liability established under the Utah Governmental
             63      Immunity Act in Section 63-30-34 .
             64          [(3)] (4) "Nonprofit organization" means any organization, other than a public entity,
             65      described in Section 501 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under
             66      Section 501 (a) of that code.
             67          (5) "Person" means an individual.
             68          (6) "Property damage" means physical injury to real or personal property.
             69          [(4)] (7) "Public entity" has the same meaning as defined in Section 63-30b-1 .
             70          [(5)] (8) "Qualified trust" means a trust held for the purpose of compensating claims for
             71      [damages or] bodily injury or property damage in a trust company licensed to do business in this
             72      state under the provisions of Title 7, Chapter 5, Trust Business.
             73          [(6)] (9) "Reimbursements" means, with respect to each nonprofit organization[: (a)
             74      compensation or honoraria totaling less than $300 per calendar year; and (b)], payment of expenses
             75      actually incurred.
             76          [(7)] (10) (a) "Volunteer" means an individual performing services for a nonprofit
             77      organization who does not receive anything of value from that nonprofit organization for those
             78      services except reimbursements.
             79          (b) "Volunteer" includes a volunteer serving as a director, officer, trustee, or direct service
             80      volunteer.
             81          (c) "Volunteer" does not include an individual performing services for a public entity to
             82      the extent the services are within the scope of Title 63, Chapter 30b, Immunity for Persons
             83      Performing Voluntary Services or Title 67, Chapter 20, Volunteer Government Workers Act.
             84          Section 4. Section 78-19-201 is enacted to read:
             85     
Part 2. Good Samaritan Act

             86          78-19-201. Title.
             87          This part is known as the "Good Samaritan Act."
             88          Section 5. Section 78-19-202 is enacted to read:
             89          78-19-202. Definitions.


             90          As used in this part:
             91          (1) "Emergency" means an unexpected occurrence involving injury, threat of injury, or
             92      illness to a person or the public, including a motor vehicle accident, natural or man-made disaster,
             93      actual or threatened discharges, removal, or disposal of hazardous materials, and any other
             94      accidents or events of a similar nature.
             95          (2) "Emergency care" includes actual assistance or advice offered to avoid, mitigate, or
             96      attempt to mitigate the effects of an emergency.
             97          Section 6. Section 78-19-203 , which is renumbered from Section 78-11-22 is renumbered
             98      and amended to read:
             99           [78-11-22].     78-19-203. Good Samaritan Act.
             100          A person who renders emergency care at or near the scene of, or during an emergency,
             101      gratuitously and in good faith, is not liable for any civil damages or penalties as a result of any act
             102      or omission by the person rendering the emergency care, unless the person is grossly negligent,
             103      acted willfully and maliciously, or caused the emergency. [As used in this section, "emergency"
             104      means an unexpected occurrence involving injury, threat of injury, or illness to a person or the
             105      public, including motor vehicle accidents, disasters, actual or threatened discharges, removal, or
             106      disposal of hazardous materials, and other accidents or events of a similar nature. "Emergency
             107      care" includes actual assistance or advice offered to avoid, mitigate, or attempt to mitigate the
             108      effects of an emergency.]
             109          Section 7. Section 78-19-301 is enacted to read:
             110     
Part 3. Donors of Food and Grocery Products

             111          78-19-301. Definitions.
             112          As used in this part:
             113          (1) "Donate" means to give or distribute without requiring anything of monetary or other
             114      value from the final recipient or consumer. A processing fee may be exchanged between
             115      organizations for any food or grocery products, provided the final consumer receives them free of
             116      charge.
             117          (2) "Food" means items for human consumption and includes agricultural products,
             118      commercially processed and prepared items, as well as perishable items. Food may include fresh
             119      and processed meats, poultry, seafood, dairy products, bakery products, eggs in the shells, and
             120      fresh fruits and vegetables which may be packaged, refrigerated, or frozen.


             121          (3) "Grocery products" means nonfood items normally sold in food stores, including
             122      disposable paper and plastic products, household cleaning products, bottled water, laundry
             123      detergents, and miscellaneous household items.
             124          Section 8. Section 78-19-302 is enacted to read:
             125          78-19-302. Donation of food and grocery products -- Liability limits.
             126          (1) A person or organization who, in good faith, donates or distributes apparently
             127      wholesome food or apparently serviceable and safe grocery products either directly to the needy
             128      or to a nonprofit organization for distribution directly or indirectly to the needy is not subject to
             129      civil liability or criminal prosecution regarding the condition of the food and grocery products
             130      unless injury results from an act or omission of the person or organization which was grossly
             131      negligent or willful and malicious.
             132          (2) A nonprofit organization and any employee or volunteer of the organization who, in
             133      good faith, receives and distributes food or grocery products which are apparently fit for human
             134      consumption or use at the time they are distributed without charge to the needy, is not subject to
             135      civil liability or criminal prosecution for the condition of the food or grocery products unless injury
             136      results from an act or omission which was grossly negligent or willful and malicious.
             137          Section 9. Section 78-19-401 , which is renumbered from Section 78-19-2 is renumbered
             138      and amended to read:
             139     
Part 4. Volunteers

             140           [78-19-2].     78-19-401. Liability protection for volunteers -- Exceptions.
             141          (1) Except as provided in Subsection (2), [no] a volunteer providing services for a
             142      nonprofit organization [incurs] may not incur any legal liability for any act or omission of the
             143      volunteer while providing services for the nonprofit organization and [no] a volunteer [incurs] may
             144      not incur any personal financial liability for any tort claim or other action seeking damage for an
             145      injury arising from any act or omission of the volunteer while providing services for the nonprofit
             146      organization if:
             147          (a) the individual was acting in good faith and reasonably believed he was acting within
             148      the scope of his official functions and duties with the nonprofit organization; and
             149          (b) the damage or injury was not caused by an intentional or knowing act by the volunteer
             150      which constitutes illegal, willful, or wanton misconduct.
             151          (2) The protection against volunteer liability provided by this section does not apply:


             152          (a) to injuries resulting from a volunteer's operation of a motor vehicle, a vessel, aircraft
             153      or other vehicle for which a pilot or operator's license is required;
             154          (b) when a suit is brought by an authorized officer of a state or local government to enforce
             155      a federal, state, or local law; or
             156          (c) where the nonprofit organization for which the volunteer is working fails to provide
             157      a financially secure source of recovery for individuals who suffer injuries as a result of actions
             158      taken by the volunteer on behalf of the nonprofit organization.
             159          (3) Nothing in this section shall bar an action by a volunteer against an organization, its
             160      officers, or other persons who intentionally or knowingly misrepresent that a financially secure
             161      source of recovery does or will exist during a period when such a source does not or will not in fact
             162      exist.
             163          (4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to place a duty upon a nonprofit organization
             164      to provide a financially secure source of recovery.
             165          (5) The granting of immunity from liability to a volunteer under this section shall have no
             166      effect on the liability of the nonprofit organization providing the financially secure source of
             167      recovery.
             168          Section 10. Section 78-19-402 , which is renumbered from Section 78-19-3 is renumbered
             169      and amended to read:
             170           [78-19-3].     78-19-402. Liability protection for organizations.
             171          A nonprofit organization is not liable for the acts or omissions of its volunteers in any
             172      circumstance where:
             173          (1) the acts of its volunteers are not as described in Subsection [ 78-19-2 ] 78-19-401 (1)
             174      unless the nonprofit organization had, or reasonably should have had, reasonable notice of the
             175      volunteer's unfitness to provide services to the nonprofit organization under circumstances that
             176      make the nonprofit organization's use of the volunteer reckless or wanton in light of that notice;
             177      or
             178          (2) a business employer would not be liable under the laws of this state if the act or
             179      omission were the act or omission of one of its employees.
             180          Section 11. Repealer.
             181          This act repeals:
             182          Section 78-11-22.1, Donation of food -- Liability limits.






Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-2-99 1:46 PM


A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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