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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

42 USCS 238q

Summary Title

Liability: Use of AED

Summary

An individual who uses, or attempts to use, an AED on a victim of a medical emergency will not be held legally responsible. They can be held legally responsible if they fail to notify emergency response personnel or they act with extreme carelessness. This legal protection does not apply to a licensed health professional working within the scope of their license or when an AED is used in a hospital or health care setting.

Full Title

Liability regarding emergency use of automated external defibrillators

Full Text

(a) Good Samaritan protections regarding AEDs. Except as provided in subsection (b), any person who uses or attempts to use an automated external defibrillator device on a victim of a perceived medical emergency is immune from civil liability for any harm resulting from the use or attempted use of such device; and in addition, any person who acquired the device is immune from such liability, if the harm was not due to the failure of such acquirer of the device--(1) to notify local emergency response personnel or other appropriate entities of the most recent placement of the device within a reasonable period of time after the device was placed; (2) to properly maintain and test the device; or (3) to provide appropriate training in the use of the device to an employee or agent of the acquirer when the employee or agent was the person who used the device on the victim, except that such requirement of training does not apply if--(A) the employee or agent was not an employee or agent who would have been reasonably expected to use the device; or (B) the period of time elapsing between the engagement of the person as an employee or agent and the occurrence of the harm (or between the acquisition of the device and the occurrence of the harm, in any case in which the device was acquired after such engagement of the person) was not a reasonably sufficient period in which to provide the training. (b) Inapplicability of immunity. Immunity under subsection (a) does not apply to a person if--(1) the harm involved was caused by willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the victim who was harmed; (2) the person is a licensed or certified health professional who used the automated external defibrillator device while acting within the scope of the license or certification of the professional and within the scope of the employment or agency of the professional; (3) the person is a hospital, clinic, or other entity whose purpose is providing health care directly to patients, and the harm was caused by an employee or agent of the entity who used the device while acting within the scope of the employment or agency of the employee or agent; or (4) the person is an acquirer of the device who leased the device to a health care entity (or who otherwise provided the device to such entity for compensation without selling the device to the entity), and the harm was caused by an employee or agent of the entity who used the device while acting within the scope of the employment or agency of the employee or agent.