COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053
Senator Joan B. Lovely
2nd Essex District
Phone: (617) 722-1410
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
SENATE PASSES GOOD SAMARITAN BILL
(Boston) The Massachusetts Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed the “Good Samaritan Bill” to ensure off-duty first responders who provide emergency care are not subject to lawsuits for helping those in need, Senator Joan Lovely announced.
“Today the Senate made it clear that off-duty first responders shouldn’t have to worry about a lawsuit when they react during an emergency,” commented Senator Lovely. “It’s important that we take away barriers like these that prevent victims from receiving the best possible care in the midst of a tragic event.”
“The Good Samaritan Laws do not currently apply to off-duty first responders whose professional responsibilities include providing emergency medical care,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “On Marathon Monday, many off-duty firefighters and emergency medical technicians came to the immediate aid of the hundreds of people impacted by the blasts and, as good Samaritans, they should be provided with the same legal protections.”
Lead sponsor of the bill, Senator Jim Timilty (D-Walpole) said, “Just a few weeks ago we were all reminded that there are a select few among us who run towards the blasts looking to help. We are very proud as a Commonwealth to do everything we can to help protect and honor our men and women in uniform but currently there is very little protection for their brave and instinctual actions when they are in their daily lives and out of uniform. This legislation not only seeks to protect those who risked their lives to help on Marathon Monday, but the everyday occurrences of an accident on the side of the road or a child injured on the ball field. We should do everything in our power to ensure that those with the adequate training to help do not hesitate out of fear of a lawsuit.”
This bill will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.