Liability: Hazardous Material Spill Volunteer
When an emergency declaration is in effect, a person, who, voluntarily and in good faith, assists with a spill of a hazardous material into waters, 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.
Hazardous material spills; immunity of volunteers from civil suits; effects of gross negligence or willful misconduct
(1) A volunteer who assists in remedial actions associated with a spill of a hazardous material into the waters of the state following a declaration by the governor pursuant to section 3 of the emergency preparedness act, Act No. 390 of the Public Acts of 1976, being section 30.403 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, that the spill has caused a state of disaster is not liable in a civil action for damages resulting from an act or omission arising out of and in the course of the volunteer’s good faith rendering of that assistance. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a volunteer whose act or omission was the result of the volunteer’s gross negligence or willful misconduct.