NSPE Makes Good Samaritan a Federal Issue

 

May 2012

NSPE TODAY: POLICY PERSPECTIVES
NSPE Makes Good Samaritan a Federal Issue

BY SARAH OGDEN

Recently, NSPE met with Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and staff to discuss the Good Samaritan Protection for Construction, Architectural, and Engineering Volunteers Act (H.R. 1145). The bill, which Reichert introduced last year, would provide qualified immunity to engineering, architectural, and construction entities (both individuals and organizations) volunteering in a declared emergency. The bill was introduced in response to lawsuits against construction, architectural, and engineering companies following volunteer efforts in response to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. The legislation currently awaits action in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.
 
NSPE also met with senior staff for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to advocate Good Samaritan protection for professional engineers volunteering in an emergency. The Judiciary Committee would have jurisdiction over a Good Samaritan bill if such legislation were introduced in the Senate.

NSPE supports the enactment of a federal Good Samaritan law that would provide qualified immunity to engineers volunteering in a declared emergency. Good Samaritan legislation is a no-cost solution that would protect professional engineers from liability for negligence as a result of volunteering in a declared emergency or disaster. Such a law would eliminate the liability deterrent that may inhibit engineers from providing voluntary services, and in doing so, would promote voluntary participation by professional engineers in emergency relief efforts.
 
For NSPE's issue brief "Engineers' Good Samaritan Laws," please visit www.nspe.org/IssuesandAdvocacy/TakeAction/index.html and click on "Issue Briefs." Read more about the Good Samaritan Protection for Construction, Architectural, and Engineering Volunteers Act at the NSPE Legislative Action Center: http://capwiz.com/nspe/issues/bills.