2012 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
895. Damages, liability, and miscellaneous provisions regarding actions in courts.
895.48 Civil liability exemption; emergency medical care.


WI Stat § 895.48 (2012 through Act 45) What's This?

895.48 Civil liability exemption; emergency medical care.

895.48(1)(1) Any person who renders emergency care at the scene of any emergency or accident in good faith shall be immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in rendering such emergency care. This immunity does not extend when employees trained in health care or health care professionals render emergency care for compensation and within the scope of their usual and customary employment or practice at a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities, at the scene of any emergency or accident, enroute to a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities or at a physician's office.

895.48(1m) (1m)

895.48(1m)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (b), any physician, physician assistant, podiatrist, or athletic trainer licensed under ch. 448, chiropractor licensed under ch. 446, dentist licensed under ch. 447, emergency medical technician licensed under s. 256.15, first responder certified under s. 256.15 (8), registered nurse licensed under ch. 441, or a massage therapist or bodywork therapist licensed under ch. 460 who renders voluntary health care to a participant in an athletic event or contest sponsored by a nonprofit corporation, as defined in s. 66.0129 (6) (b), a private school, as defined in s. 115.001 (3r), a tribal school, as defined in s. 115.001 (15m), a public agency, as defined in s. 46.856 (1) (b), or a school, as defined in s. 609.655 (1) (c), is immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in rendering that care if all of the following conditions exist:

895.48(1m)(a)1. 1. The health care is rendered at the site of the event or contest, during transportation to a health care facility from the event or contest, or in a locker room or similar facility immediately before, during or immediately after the event or contest.

895.48(1m)(a)2. 2. The physician, podiatrist, athletic trainer, chiropractor, dentist, emergency medical technician, first responder, physician assistant, registered nurse, massage therapist or bodywork therapist does not receive compensation for the health care, other than reimbursement for expenses.

895.48(1m)(b) (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to health care services provided by a volunteer health care provider under s. 146.89.

895.48(4) (4)

895.48(4)(ag)(ag) In this subsection:

895.48(4)(ag)1. 1. "Cardiac arrest" means the sudden cessation of cardiac function and the disappearance of arterial blood pressure that connote ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia.

895.48(4)(ag)2. 2. "Pulseless ventricular tachycardia" means a disturbance in the normal rhythm of the heart that is characterized by rapid electrical activity of the heart with no cardiac output.

895.48(4)(am) (am) Any of the following, other than an emergency medical technician or a first responder — defibrillation, is immune from civil liability for the acts or omissions of a person in rendering in good faith emergency care by use of an automated external defibrillator to an individual who appears to be in cardiac arrest:

895.48(4)(am)1. 1. The person who renders the care.

895.48(4)(am)2. 2. The owner of the automated external defibrillator.

895.48(4)(am)3. 3. The person who provides the automated external defibrillator for use, if the person ensures that the automated external defibrillator is maintained and tested in accordance with any operational guidelines of the manufacturer.

895.48(4)(am)4. 4. Any person who provides training in the use of an automated external defibrillator to the person who renders care.

895.48(4)(b) (b) The immunity specified in par. (am) does not extend to any of the following:

895.48(4)(b)1. 1. A person whose act or omission resulting from the use or the provision for use of the automated external defibrillator constitutes gross negligence.

895.48(4)(b)2. 2. A health care professional who renders emergency care for compensation and within the scope of his or her usual and customary employment or practice at a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities, at the scene of an emergency or accident, enroute to a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities or at a physician's office.

History: 1977 c. 164; 1987 a. 14; 1989 a. 31; 1993 a. 109; 1995 a. 227; 1997 a. 67, 156, 191; 1999 a. 7, 9, 32, 56, 186; 2001 a. 74; 2003 a. 33; 2005 a. 155, 188, 486; 2007 a. 130; 2009 a. 113, 302, 355; 2011 a. 260.

Whatever the precise scope of "scene of any emergency or accident" in sub. (1), the phrase is sufficiently broad to include the defendant's home when the injured, bleeding plaintiff arrived after being hurt in an incident involving an all-terrain vehicle in nearby woods. In the circumstances of the case, "emergency care" under sub. (1) refers to the initial evaluation and immediate assistance, treatment, and intervention rendered to the plaintiff during the period before care could be transferred to professional medical personnel. Mueller v. McMillian Warner Insurance Company, 2006 WI 54, 290 Wis. 2d 571, 714 N.W.2d 183, 05-0121.

There are 3 requirements before sub. (1) relieves a person from liability: 1) emergency care must be rendered at the scene of the emergency; 2) the care rendered must be emergency care; and 3) any emergency care must be rendered in good faith. Clayton v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, 2007 WI App 228, 305 Wis. 2d 766, 741 N.W.2d 297, 07-0051.

The "Good Samaritan" law is discussed. 67 Atty. Gen. 218.

Incidental benefits received by volunteer members of the National Ski Patrol in exchange for rendering emergency care to disabled skiers may result in a loss of civil liability immunity under the Good Samaritan law. 79 Atty. Gen. 194.

The Good Samaritan statute. 62 MLR 469 (1979).

The Good Samaritan Statute: Civil Liability Exemptions for Emergency Care. Szymanski. Wis. Law. July 2007.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Wisconsin may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.