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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

Md. Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Ann 5-639

Summary Title

Liability: Emergency Vehicle

Summary

An owner or authorized operator of an emergency vehicle 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

Negligent operation of emergency vehicle

Full Text

(a) Definitions. -- (1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated. (2) "Emergency service" has the meaning stated in § 19-103 of the Transportation Article. (3) "Emergency vehicle" has the meaning stated in § 11-118 of the Transportation Article. (b) Liability of operator. -- (1) An operator of an emergency vehicle, who is authorized to operate the emergency vehicle by its owner or lessee, is immune from suit in the operator's individual capacity for damages resulting from a negligent act or omission while operating the emergency vehicle in the performance of emergency service. (2) This subsection does not provide immunity from suit to an operator for a malicious act or omission or for gross negligence of the operator. (c) Liability of owner or lessee. -- (1) An owner or lessee of an emergency vehicle, including a political subdivision, is liable to the extent provided in subsection (d) of this section for any damages caused by a negligent act or omission of an authorized operator while operating the emergency vehicle in the performance of emergency service. (2) This subsection does not subject an owner or lessee to liability for the operator's malicious act or omission or for the operator's gross negligence. (3) A political subdivision may not raise the defense of governmental immunity in an action against it under this section. (d) Limitation on liability. -- Liability under this section for self-insured jurisdictions is limited to the amount of the minimum benefits that a vehicle liability insurance policy must provide under § 17-103 of the Transportation Article, except that an owner or lessee may be liable in an amount up to the maximum limit of any basic vehicle liability insurance policy it has in effect exclusive of excess liability coverage. (e) Effect of judgment. -- A judgment under this section against the owner or lessee of an emergency vehicle constitutes a complete bar to any action or judgment deriving from the same occurrence against the operator of the emergency vehicle.