2012 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
Title 42 - JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE
Chapter 83 - Particular Rights and Immunities
Section 8332.4 - Volunteer-in-public-service negligence standard

§ 8332.4.  Volunteer-in-public-service negligence standard.

(a)  Services covered.--

(1)  Except as provided otherwise in this section, no person who, without compensation and as a volunteer, renders public services for a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3), (4) or (6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (68A Stat. 3, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3), (4) or (6)) or for a Commonwealth or local government agency conducting or sponsoring a public service program or project shall be liable to any person for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions in rendering such services unless the conduct of such person falls substantially below the standards generally practiced and accepted in like circumstances by similar persons rendering such services and unless it is shown that such person did an act or omitted the doing of an act which such person was under a recognized duty to another to do, knowing or having reason to know that such act or omission created a substantial risk of actual harm to the person or property of another. It shall be insufficient to impose liability to establish only that the conduct of such person fell below ordinary standards of care.

(2)  Except as provided otherwise in this section, no design professional who, without compensation and as a volunteer, provides professional services related to a declared national, State or local emergency caused by a major earthquake, hurricane, tornado, explosion, collapse or other similar disaster or catastrophic event at the request of or with the approval of a Federal, State or local public official, law enforcement official, public safety official or building inspection official acting in an official capacity shall be liable to any person for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions in rendering such services unless the conduct of such design professional falls substantially below the standards generally practiced and accepted in like circumstances by similar persons rendering such professional services and unless it is shown that such design professional did an act or omitted the doing of an act which such design professional was under a recognized duty to another to do, knowing or having reason to know that such act or omission created a substantial risk of actual harm to the person or property of another. It shall be insufficient to impose liability to establish only that the conduct of such design professional fell below ordinary standards of care.

(b)  Exceptions.--

(1)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or modifying the liability of such person for acts or omissions relating to the transportation of participants in a public service program or project or others to or from a public service program or project.

(2)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or modifying any existing legal basis for determining the liability, or any defense thereto, of any person not covered by the standard of negligence established by this section.

(c)  Assumption of risk or contributory fault.--Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or modifying the doctrine of assumption of risk or contributory fault on the part of the participant.

(d)  Construction.--The negligence standard created by this section shall not be deemed to abrogate or lessen any immunity or other protection against liability granted by statute or court decision.

(e)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Compensation."  The term shall not include reimbursement for reasonable expenses actually incurred or to be incurred.

"Design professional."  An individual licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an architect, geologist, land surveyor, landscape architect or professional engineer.

"Public service program or project."  An organized program, or other public service ordinarily conducted or rendered by volunteers.

(Dec. 21, 1988, P.L.1862, No.179, eff. 60 days; Oct. 30, 2001, P.L.824, No.81, eff. 60 days)

 

2001 Amendment.  Act 81 amended subsecs. (a) and (e).

1988 Amendment.  Act 179 added section 8332.4.

Cross References.  Section 8332.4 is referred to in section 327 of Title 30 (Fish).

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