2016 North Dakota Century Code
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GOOD SAMARITAN ACT
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the designated meanings:
1. "Aid or assistance necessary or helpful in the circumstances" means any actions
which the aider reasonably believed were required to prevent death or serious
permanent injury, disability or handicap, or reasonably believed would benefit the
injured or ill person, depending upon the aider's perception of the nature and severity
of the injury or illness and the total emergency situation, and that the aider reasonably
believed the aider could successfully undertake.
2. "Appropriate person licensed or certified by this state or by any state or province to
provide medical care or assistance" means any physician, nurse, emergency medical
technician, or other medical or paramedical personnel whom the aider reasonably
believes is such, based upon the representations of the person or that person's actions
in providing medical aid.
3. "Employed expressly or actually" means either that the person's formal duties include
the provision of emergency medical aid, or that the person customarily provides such
aid and is informally expected or relied upon to do so in the course of the person's
4. "Gross negligence" means acts or omissions falling short of intentional misconduct
which nevertheless show a failure to exercise even slight care or any conscious
interest in the predictable consequences of the acts or omissions. For the purposes of
this chapter, "gross negligence" includes the failure of an aider to relinquish direction
of the care of an injured or ill person when an appropriate person licensed or certified
by this state or by any state or province to provide medical care or assistance
assumes or attempts to assume responsibility for the care of the injured or ill person.
32-03.1-02. Actions barred.
No person, or the person's employer, subject to the exceptions in sections 32-03.1-03,
32-03.1-04, and 32-03.1-08, who renders aid or assistance necessary or helpful in the
circumstances to other persons who have been injured or are ill as the result of an accident or
illness, or any mechanical, external or organic trauma, may be named as a defendant or held
liable in any personal injury civil action by any party in this state for acts or omissions arising out
of a situation in which emergency aid or assistance is rendered, unless it is plainly alleged in the
complaint and later proven that such person's acts or omissions constituted intentional
misconduct or gross negligence.
32-03.1-02.1. Emergency obstetrical services.
A physician licensed under chapter 43-17 who renders emergency obstetrical care or
assistance to a pregnant female in active labor who has not previously been cared for in
connection with the pregnancy by the physician or by another person professionally associated
with the physician and whose medical records are not reasonably available to the physician is
not liable in any personal injury civil action for acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of
that emergency care or assistance, unless it is plainly alleged in the complaint and later proven
that the physician's acts or omissions constituted intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
The immunity from civil liability provided by this section does not extend to a physician who
renders emergency obstetrical care or assistance with an expectation of remuneration or who
collects a fee for rendering that care or assistance.
32-03.1-02.2. Immunity for a licensed health care provider who provides volunteer
medical care at free clinics.
A health care provider licensed under title 43 who renders medical care on a voluntary basis
at a free clinic is not liable in any personal injury civil action for acts or omissions resulting in the
rendering of that care unless it is plainly alleged in the complaint and later proven that the health
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care provider's acts or omissions constituted intentional misconduct or gross negligence. For
purposes of this section, "voluntary" is defined as without receiving remuneration of any sort.
"Free clinic" is defined as a clinic that is established to provide primary health care to persons
who are otherwise unable to obtain medical services due to their lack of access to health
insurance or medical assistance.
32-03.1-02.3. Automated external defibrillators - Requirements.
1. Except for a medical services facility or prehospital emergency medical services
provider, every person who acquires an automated external defibrillator shall:
a. Require every individual expected to use the automated external defibrillator to
receive training in the most recent nationally recognized course in
cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator use;
b. Maintain and test the automated external defibrillator according to the
manufacturer's operational guidelines;
c. Establish an automated external defibrillator use protocol that provides any
person who provides emergency care or treatment to an individual in cardiac
arrest by using the automated external defibrillator shall contact, as soon as
possible, an appropriate health care provider or emergency medical services
d. Consider recommendations of a licensed physician in establishing the training,
notification, and maintenance requirements of this subsection.
2. Any person who in good faith and without compensation provides emergency care or
emergency treatment by using an automated external defibrillator is immune from civil
liability for any personal injury resulting from the emergency care or emergency
treatment and for any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical
treatment if the person providing the emergency care or emergency treatment acted
as an ordinary, reasonable, prudent person would act under the same or similar
circumstances. This subsection does not apply if a personal injury results from the
gross negligence or from the willful or wanton misconduct of the person providing the
emergency care or emergency treatment.
3. The immunity provision of subsection 2 applies to a licensed physician under
subdivision d of subsection 1, the person who provides the training under subdivision a
of subsection 1, and the person responsible for the site on which the automated
external defibrillator is located.
4. This section does not limit civil liability protection provided by any other law.
32-03.1-03. Criminal immunity.
No person who renders aid or assistance necessary or helpful in the circumstances to other
persons who have been injured or are ill as the result of an accident or sudden illness or any
mechanical, external, or organic trauma may be criminally charged in this state for having
practiced medicine or nursing without a license, provided that the aider shall relinquish direction
of the care of the injured person when an appropriate person licensed or certified by this state or
by any state or province to provide medical care or assistance assumes responsibility for the
care of the injured person.
32-03.1-04. Fees or reimbursement for aid.
Nothing in this chapter may be construed to deprive any physician or surgeon licensed in
this state of the right to collect reasonable fees for any acts of aid, assistance, or treatment or
any other person rendering aid or assistance under this chapter, or those whose property is
necessarily damaged in the course of such aid or assistance under this chapter, of the right to
reimbursement, from the injured or ill person or that person's estate for any expenses or
damages which appeared reasonable and necessary to incur under the circumstances. Any
person rendering aid or assistance with an expectation of remuneration shall not be covered by
the provisions of this chapter.
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This chapter does not encompass a person who, at the time of the emergency, was
employed expressly or actually for the purpose of providing emergency medical aid to humans,
either within or outside of a hospital or other place or vehicle with medical equipment, for
emergency medical aid or other assistance rendered in the regular course of the person's
employment. Such persons and their employers are liable for their acts and omissions in
rendering emergency medical aid in the regular course of their employment, according to the
prevailing law in this state.
32-03.1-06. Limited repealer.
This chapter supersedes any conflicting provision of law which is inconsistent with this
chapter except sections 23-27-04.1, 32-03-40, 32-03-42, 39-08-04.1, 43-12.1-12, 43-17-37, and
32-03.1-07. Costs and fees.
Notwithstanding any other provision in the laws of this state, or any court rules, if a party
names a defendant in a suit alleging intentional misconduct or gross negligence, as described in
section 32-03.1-01, and the trial judge dismisses the complaint or grants a defendant's motion
for judgment on the pleadings, or directs a verdict for a defendant, or grants a defendant's
motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or at any point in the proceedings grants a
plaintiff's motion to discontinue the action against the defendant, the defendant shall be entitled
to full costs and reasonable attorney's fees expended in connection with the defendant's
defense of the action. If good reason is shown, the trial judge may suspend the operation of this
32-03.1-08. Actions not barred.
Nothing in this chapter may be construed to bar a civil action by any injured or ill person or
injured or ill person's survivors against any person for having tortiously caused an injury or
emergency situation. Nothing in this chapter may be construed to relieve any person, tortiously
causing an injury or emergency situation, from any affirmative duty to provide proper aid or
assistance. If the defendant prevails in such an action, the defendant shall be entitled to costs
and fees only as the other statutes and court rules of this state provide.
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Title 32 Judicial Remedies
Chapter 32-03.1 Good Samaritan Act
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