2009 Texas Code
CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE
TITLE 4. LIABILITY IN TORT
CHAPTER 84. CHARITABLE IMMUNITY AND LIABILITY  

CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE

TITLE 4. LIABILITY IN TORT

CHAPTER 84. CHARITABLE IMMUNITY AND LIABILITY

Sec. 84.001. NAME OF ACT. This Act may be cited as the

Charitable Immunity and Liability Act of 1987.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1987.

Sec. 84.002. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES. The Legislature of the

State of Texas finds that:

(1) robust, active, bona fide, and well-supported charitable

organizations are needed within Texas to perform essential and

needed services;

(2) the willingness of volunteers to offer their services to

these organizations is deterred by the perception of personal

liability arising out of the services rendered to these

organizations;

(3) because of these concerns over personal liability,

volunteers are withdrawing from services in all capacities;

(4) these same organizations have a further problem in obtaining

and affording liability insurance for the organization and its

employees and volunteers;

(5) these problems combine to diminish the services being

provided to Texas and local communities because of higher costs

and fewer programs;

(6) the citizens of this state have an overriding interest in

the continued and increased delivery of these services that must

be balanced with other policy considerations; and

(7) because of the above conditions and policy considerations,

it is the purpose of this Act to reduce the liability exposure

and insurance costs of these organizations and their employees

and volunteers in order to encourage volunteer services and

maximize the resources devoted to delivering these services.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1987.

Sec. 84.003. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Charitable organization" means:

(A) any organization exempt from federal income tax under

Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by being

listed as an exempt organization in Section 501(c)(3) or

501(c)(4) of the code, if it is a nonprofit corporation,

foundation, community chest, or fund organized and operated

exclusively for charitable, religious, prevention of cruelty to

children or animals, youth sports and youth recreational,

neighborhood crime prevention or patrol, fire protection or

prevention, emergency medical or hazardous material response

services, or educational purposes, including private primary or

secondary schools if accredited by a member association of the

Texas Private School Accreditation Commission but excluding

fraternities, sororities, and secret societies, or is organized

and operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare by

being primarily engaged in promoting the common good and general

welfare of the people in a community;

(B) any bona fide charitable, religious, prevention of cruelty

to children or animals, youth sports and youth recreational,

neighborhood crime prevention or patrol, or educational

organization, excluding fraternities, sororities, and secret

societies, or other organization organized and operated

exclusively for the promotion of social welfare by being

primarily engaged in promoting the common good and general

welfare of the people in a community, and that:

(i) is organized and operated exclusively for one or more of the

above purposes;

(ii) does not engage in activities which in themselves are not

in furtherance of the purpose or purposes;

(iii) does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene

in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any

candidate for public office;

(iv) dedicates its assets to achieving the stated purpose or

purposes of the organization;

(v) does not allow any part of its net assets on dissolution of

the organization to inure to the benefit of any group,

shareholder, or individual; and

(vi) normally receives more than one-third of its support in any

year from private or public gifts, grants, contributions, or

membership fees;

(C) a homeowners association as defined by Section 528(c) of the

Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or which is exempt from federal

income tax under Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of

1986 by being listed as an exempt organization in Section

501(c)(4) of the code;

(D) a volunteer center, as that term is defined by Section

411.126, Government Code; or

(E) a local chamber of commerce that:

(i) is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a) of

the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by being listed as an exempt

organization in Section 501(c)(6) of the code;

(ii) does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in

any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any

candidate for public office; and

(iii) does not directly or indirectly contribute to a political

action committee that makes expenditures to any candidates for

public office.

(2) "Volunteer" means a person rendering services for or on

behalf of a charitable organization who does not receive

compensation in excess of reimbursement for expenses incurred.

The term includes a person serving as a director, officer,

trustee, or direct service volunteer, including a volunteer

health care provider.

(3) "Employee" means any person, including an officer or

director, who is in the paid service of a charitable

organization, but does not include an independent contractor.

(4) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 18.03(1).

(5) "Volunteer health care provider" means an individual who

voluntarily provides health care services without compensation or

expectation of compensation and who is:

(A) an individual who is licensed to practice medicine under

Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code;

(B) a retired physician who is eligible to provide health care

services, including a retired physician who is licensed but

exempt from paying the required annual registration fee under

Section 156.002, Occupations Code;

(C) a physician assistant licensed under Chapter 204,

Occupations Code, or a retired physician assistant who is

eligible to provide health care services under the law of this

state;

(D) a registered nurse, including an advanced nurse

practitioner, or vocational nurse, licensed under Chapter 301,

Occupations Code, or a retired vocational nurse or registered

nurse, including a retired advanced nurse practitioner, who is

eligible to provide health care services under the law of this

state;

(E) a pharmacist licensed under Subtitle J, Title 3, Occupations

Code, or a retired pharmacist who is eligible to provide health

care services under the law of this state;

(F) a podiatrist licensed under Chapter 202, Occupations Code,

or a retired podiatrist who is eligible to provide health care

services under the law of this state;

(G) a dentist licensed under Subtitle D, Title 3, Occupations

Code, or a retired dentist who is eligible to provide health care

services under the law of this state;

(H) a dental hygienist licensed under Subtitle D, Title 3,

Occupations Code, or a retired dental hygienist who is eligible

to provide health care services under the law of this state;

(I) an optometrist or therapeutic optometrist licensed under

Chapter 351, Occupations Code, or a retired optometrist or

therapeutic optometrist who is eligible to provide health care

services under the law of this state;

(J) a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant

licensed under Chapter 453, Occupations Code, or a retired

physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who is

eligible to provide health care services under the law of this

state;

(K) an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant

licensed under Chapter 454, Occupations Code, or a retired

occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant who is

eligible to provide health care services under the law of this

state; or

(L) an audiologist, assistant in audiology, speech-language

pathologist, or assistant in speech-language pathology licensed

under Chapter 401, Occupations Code, or a retired audiologist,

assistant in audiology, speech-language pathologist, or assistant

in speech-language pathology who is eligible to provide health

care services under the laws of this state.

(6) "Hospital system" means a system of hospitals and other

health care providers located in this state that are under the

common governance or control of a corporate parent.

(7) "Person responsible for the patient" means:

(A) the patient's parent, managing conservator, or guardian;

(B) the patient's grandparent;

(C) the patient's adult brother or sister;

(D) another adult who has actual care, control, and possession

of the patient and has written authorization to consent for the

patient from the parent, managing conservator, or guardian of the

patient;

(E) an educational institution in which the patient is enrolled

that has written authorization to consent for the patient from

the parent, managing conservator, or guardian of the patient; or

(F) any other person with legal responsibility for the care of

the patient.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 634, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 403, Sec. 1, eff. Sept.

1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 400, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 77, Sec. 1, eff. May 14, 2001;

Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 538, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts

2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.732, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts

2003, 78th Leg., ch. 93, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003,

78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.02, 10.03, 10.04, 18.03(1) eff. Sept.

1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 553, Sec. 2.001, eff. Feb. 1,

2004; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 895, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

239, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

791, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 84.004. VOLUNTEER LIABILITY. (a) Except as provided by

Subsection (d) and Section 84.007, a volunteer of a charitable

organization is immune from civil liability for any act or

omission resulting in death, damage, or injury if the volunteer

was acting in the course and scope of the volunteer's duties or

functions, including as an officer, director, or trustee within

the organization.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 18.03(2).

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d) and Section 84.007, a

volunteer health care provider who is serving as a direct service

volunteer of a charitable organization is immune from civil

liability for any act or omission resulting in death, damage, or

injury to a patient if:

(1) the volunteer commits the act or omission in the course of

providing health care services to the patient;

(2) the services provided are within the scope of the license of

the volunteer; and

(3) before the volunteer provides health care services, the

patient or, if the patient is a minor or is otherwise legally

incompetent, the person responsible for the patient signs a

written statement that acknowledges:

(A) that the volunteer is providing care that is not

administered for or in expectation of compensation; and

(B) the limitations on the recovery of damages from the

volunteer in exchange for receiving the health care services.

(d) A volunteer of a charitable organization is liable to a

person for death, damage, or injury to the person or his property

proximately caused by any act or omission arising from the

operation or use of any motor-driven equipment, including an

airplane, to the extent insurance coverage is required by Chapter

601, Transportation Code, and to the extent of any existing

insurance coverage applicable to the act or omission.

(e) The provisions of this section apply only to the liability

of volunteers and do not apply to the liability of the

organization for acts or omissions of volunteers.

(f) Subsection (c) applies even if:

(1) the patient is incapacitated due to illness or injury and

cannot sign the acknowledgment statement required by that

subsection; or

(2) the patient is a minor or is otherwise legally incompetent

and the person responsible for the patient is not reasonably

available to sign the acknowledgment statement required by that

subsection.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.179, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 400, Sec. 2, eff. Sept.

1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.05, 18.01,

18.03(2), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 84.005. EMPLOYEE LIABILITY. Except as provided in Section

84.007 of this Act, in any civil action brought against an

employee of a nonhospital charitable organization for damages

based on an act or omission by the person in the course and scope

of the person's employment, the liability of the employee is

limited to money damages in a maximum amount of $500,000 for each

person and $1,000,000 for each single occurrence of bodily injury

or death and $100,000 for each single occurrence for injury to or

destruction of property.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1987.

Sec. 84.006. ORGANIZATION LIABILITY. Except as provided in

Section 84.007 of this Act, in any civil action brought against a

nonhospital charitable organization for damages based on an act

or omission by the organization or its employees or volunteers,

the liability of the organization is limited to money damages in

a maximum amount of $500,000 for each person and $1,000,000 for

each single occurrence of bodily injury or death and $100,000 for

each single occurrence for injury to or destruction of property.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1987.

Sec. 84.0061. ORGANIZATIONAL LIABILITY FOR TRANSPORTATION

SERVICES PROVIDED TO CERTAIN WELFARE RECIPIENTS. (a) In this

section, "religious charitable organization" means a charitable

organization that is also a "religious organization" as the term

is defined by Section 464.051, Health and Safety Code.

(b) Subject to Subsection (e), a religious charitable

organization that owns or leases a motor vehicle is not liable

for damages arising from the negligent use of the vehicle by a

person to whom the organization has entrusted the vehicle to

provide transportation services during the provision of those

services described by Subsection (c) to a person who:

(1) is a recipient of:

(A) financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human Resources Code;

or

(B) nutritional assistance under Chapter 33, Human Resources

Code; and

(2) is participating in or applying to participate in:

(A) a work or employment activity under Chapter 31, Human

Resources Code; or

(B) the food stamp employment and training program.

(c) Transportation services include transportation to and from

the location of the:

(1) work, employment, or any training activity or program; or

(2) provider of any child-care services necessary for a person

described by Subsection (b)(1) to participate in the work,

employment, or training activity or program.

(d) Except as expressly provided in Subsection (b), this section

does not limit, or in any way affect or diminish, other legal

duties or causes of action arising from the use of a motor

vehicle, including the condition of the vehicle itself and causes

of action arising under Chapter 41.

(e) This section does not apply to any claim arising from

injury, death, or property damage in which the operator of the

vehicle was intoxicated, as the term is defined in Section 49.01,

Penal Code.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 991, Sec. 1, eff. June 15,

2001.

Sec. 84.0065. ORGANIZATION LIABILITY OF HOSPITALS. (a) Except

as provided by Section 84.007, in any civil action brought

against a hospital or hospital system, or its employees,

officers, directors, or volunteers, for damages based on an act

or omission by the hospital or hospital system, or its employees,

officers, directors, or volunteers, the liability of the hospital

or hospital system is limited to money damages in a maximum

amount of $500,000 for any act or omission resulting in death,

damage, or injury to a patient if the patient or, if the patient

is a minor or is otherwise legally incompetent, the person

responsible for the patient signs a written statement that

acknowledges:

(1) that the hospital is providing care that is not administered

for or in expectation of compensation; and

(2) the limitations on the recovery of damages from the hospital

in exchange for receiving the health care services.

(b) Subsection (a) applies even if:

(1) the patient is incapacitated due to illness or injury and

cannot sign the acknowledgment statement required by that

subsection; or

(2) the patient is a minor or is otherwise legally incompetent

and the person responsible for the patient is not reasonably

available to sign the acknowledgment statement required by that

subsection.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 10.06, eff. Sept. 1,

2003.

Sec. 84.007. APPLICABILITY. (a) This chapter does not apply to

an act or omission that is intentional, wilfully negligent, or

done with conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the

safety of others.

(b) This chapter does not limit or modify the duties or

liabilities of a member of the board of directors or an officer

to the organization or its members and shareholders.

(c) This chapter does not limit the liability of an organization

or its employees or volunteers if the organization was formed

substantially to limit its liability under this chapter.

(d) This chapter does not apply to organizations formed to

dispose, remove, or store hazardous waste, industrial solid

waste, radioactive waste, municipal solid waste, garbage, or

sludge as those terms are defined under applicable state and

federal law. This subsection shall be liberally construed to

effectuate its purpose.

(e) Sections 84.005 and 84.006 of this chapter do not apply to a

health care provider as defined in Section 74.001, unless the

provider is a federally funded migrant or community health center

under the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C.A. Sections 254b

and 254c) or is a nonprofit health maintenance organization

created and operated by a community center under Section 534.101,

Health and Safety Code, or unless the provider usually provides

discounted services at or below costs based on the ability of the

beneficiary to pay. Acceptance of Medicare or Medicaid payments

will not disqualify a health care provider under this section.

In no event shall Sections 84.005 and 84.006 of this chapter

apply to a general hospital or special hospital as defined in

Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code, or a facility or institution

licensed under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code, or

Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, or to any health maintenance

organization created and operating under Chapter 843, Insurance

Code, except for a nonprofit health maintenance organization

created under Section 534.101, Health and Safety Code.

(f) This chapter does not apply to a governmental unit or

employee of a governmental unit as defined in the Texas Tort

Claims Act (Subchapter A, Chapter 101, Civil Practice and

Remedies Code).

(g) Sections 84.005 and 84.006 of this Act do not apply to any

charitable organization that does not have liability insurance

coverage in effect on any act or omission to which this chapter

applies. The coverage shall apply to the acts or omissions of the

organization and its employees and volunteers and be in the

amount of at least $500,000 for each person and $1,000,000 for

each single occurrence for death or bodily injury and $100,000

for each single occurrence for injury to or destruction of

property. The coverage may be provided under a contract of

insurance or other plan of insurance authorized by statute and

may be satisfied by the purchase of a $1,000,000 bodily injury

and property damage combined single limit policy. Nothing in this

chapter shall limit liability of any insurer or insurance plan in

an action under Chapter 21, Insurance Code, or in an action for

bad faith conduct, breach of fiduciary duty, or negligent failure

to settle a claim.

(h) This chapter does not apply to:

(1) a statewide trade association that represents local chambers

of commerce; or

(2) a cosponsor of an event or activity with a local chamber of

commerce unless the cosponsor is a charitable organization under

this chapter.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 284(14),

(20), eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 6,

eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 835, Sec. 3, eff.

Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 1, eff. Sept.

1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 93, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1,

2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 18.02, eff. Sept. 1,

2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 10A.507, eff. Sept. 1,

2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

133, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 84.008. SEVERABILITY. If any clause or provision of this

chapter or its application to any person or organization is held

unconstitutional, such invalidity does not affect other clauses,

provisions, or applications of this chapter that can be given

effect without the invalid clause or provision and shall not

affect or nullify the remainder of the Act or any other clause or

provision, but the effect shall be confined to the clause or

provision held to be invalid or unconstitutional and to this end

the Act is declared to be severable.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1987.

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