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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

Md. Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Ann. 5-425

Summary Title

Liability: Professional Engineer

Summary

When an emergency declaration is in effect, a professional engineer, who, voluntarily and without compensation, provides their services at the request of a government official at the scene of an emergency or disaster, will not be held legally responsible for acting or failing to act. They can be held legally responsible if acting with extreme carelessness or intent to cause harm.

Full Title

Immunity -- Practice of engineering

Full Text

(a) Definitions. -- (1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated. (2) "Building inspection official" means any appointed or elected federal, State, or local official with overall executive responsibility to coordinate building inspection in the jurisdiction in which an emergency, disaster, or catastrophic event has occurred. (3) "Fire official" means any appointed or elected local official with overall executive responsibility to coordinate fire, rescue, or emergency medical services in the jurisdiction in which a fire, emergency, disaster, or catastrophic event has occurred. (4) "Law enforcement official" means any appointed or elected federal, State, or local official with overall executive responsibility to coordinate law enforcement in the jurisdiction in which an emergency, disaster, or catastrophic event has occurred. (5) "Public official" means any federal, State, or locally elected official with overall executive responsibility in the jurisdiction in which an emergency, disaster, or catastrophic event has occurred. (6) "Public safety official" means any appointed or elected federal, State, or local official with overall executive responsibility to coordinate public safety in the jurisdiction in which an emergency, disaster, or catastrophic event has occurred. (b) Professional engineers not liable. -- A professional engineer is not personally liable in damages beyond the limits of any applicable insurance or self-insurance for any personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, or other loss caused by an act, error, or omission of the professional engineer while practicing engineering with regard to any structure, building, piping, or other engineered system, either publicly or privately owned, if:(1) The act, error, or omission was not wanton, willful, intentionally tortious, or grossly negligent; and (2) The practice of engineering was performed:(i) Voluntarily and without compensation; (ii) At the scene of a declared national, State, or local emergency caused by a major earthquake, hurricane, tornado, fire, explosion, collapse, or similar disaster or catastrophic event; and (iii) At the request of a public official, law enforcement official, public safety official, fire official, or building inspection official, acting in an official capacity. (c) Scope of immunity. -- The immunity provided by this section applies only to the voluntary practice of engineering performed while a declared state of emergency is in effect. (d) No cause of action or legal right created. -- (1) This section does not create, and may not be construed as creating, a new cause of action or substantive legal right against a professional engineer. (2) This section does not affect, and may not be construed as affecting, any immunities from civil liability or defenses established by any other provisions of the Code or available at common law, to which a professional engineer may be entitled.