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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

Md. Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Ann 5-617

Summary Title

Liability: Emergency Hazardous Substance Worker

Summary

An individual, who, without compensation, is requested to provide assistance at the scene of an emergency hazardous substance discharge, 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. This section does not apply if the person is the original cause of the hazardous substance discharge.

Full Title

Persons assisting in controlling discharge of hazardous substance

Full Text

(a) "Discharge" defined. -- In this section, "discharge" includes leakage, seepage, or other release of a hazardous substance or material. (b) Immunity generally. -- Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, a person who is called on for assistance in an emergency is not subject to any civil liability or penalty as a result of assistance or advice rendered in: (1) Mitigating the effects of an actual or threatened discharge of a hazardous substance or material; (2) Preventing a discharge of a hazardous substance or material; (3) Cleaning up a discharge of a hazardous substance or material; or (4) Attempting any of the acts in this subsection. (c) Exceptions. -- The immunity provided in subsection (b) of this section does not apply to a person: (1) Whose act or omission was the original cause of an actual or threatened discharge in whole or in part, and who would otherwise be liable for the act or omission; or (2) Who received compensation other than reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses for rendering the assistance or advice. (d) Gross negligence, etc. -- Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, a person is liable for damages caused by that person's gross negligence or reckless, wanton, or intentional misconduct.