ORC Ann. 2305.232
Limited Liability for Aid or Advice in Hazardous Material Clean-Up
An individual, and the individual’s employer, will not be liable in a court of law if the individual gives aid or advice before, during, or after a release of hazardous material based on the individual’s special qualification to do so. The individual and his employer will be protected from liability as long as they were not responsible for the release and as long as the aid or advice was given at the request of a state official or one of the owners of the hazardous material. The individual and his employer may be liable in a court of law if either acted intentionally to cause or contribute to the release of hazardous material or if either acted with extreme carelessness in giving the aid or advice. The individual and his employer may also be liable in a court of law if they did not contact the emergency response section of the Environmental Protection Agency prior to giving the aid or advice.
Civil immunity of person assisting in clean-up of hazardous material.
(A) No person who gives aid or advice in an emergency situation relating to the prevention of an imminent release of hazardous material, to the clean-up or disposal of hazardous material that has been released, or to the related mitigation of the effects of a release of hazardous material, nor the public or private employer of such a person, is liable in civil damages as a result of the aid or advice if all of the following apply: (1) The aid or advice was given at the request of: (a) A sheriff, the chief of police or other chief officer of the law enforcement agency of a municipal corporation, the chief of police of a township police district or joint police district, the chief of a fire department, the state fire marshal, the director of environmental protection, the chairperson of the public utilities commission, the superintendent of the state highway patrol, the executive director of the emergency management agency, the chief executive of a municipal corporation, the authorized representative of any such official, or the legislative authority of a township or county; or (b) The owner or manufacturer of the hazardous material, an association of manufacturers of the hazardous material, or a hazardous material mutual aid group. (2) The person giving the aid or advice acted without anticipating remuneration for self or the person’s employer from the governmental official, authority, or agency that requested the aid or advice; (3) The person giving the aid or advice was specially qualified by training or experience to give the aid or advice; (4) Neither the person giving the aid or advice nor the public or private employer of the person giving the aid or advice was responsible for causing the release or threat of release nor would otherwise be liable for damages caused by the release; (5) The person giving the aid or advice did not engage in willful, wanton, or reckless misconduct or grossly negligent conduct in giving the aid or advice; (6) The person giving the aid or advice notified the emergency response section of the environmental protection agency prior to giving the aid or advice. (B) The immunity conferred by this section does not limit the liability of any person whose action caused or contributed to the release of hazardous material. That person is liable for any enhancement of damages caused by the person giving aid or advice under this section unless the enhancement of damages was caused by the willful, wanton, or reckless misconduct or grossly negligent conduct of the person giving aid or advice. (C) This section does not apply to any person rendering care, assistance, or advice in response to a discharge of oil when that person’s immunity from liability is subject to determination under section 2305.39 of the Revised Code.