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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

42 USCS 1856n-1

Summary Title

Liability: Foreign Firefighter Agreements

Summary

When the U.S. enters into an agreement with a foreign fire organization for aid during a wildfire, the party requesting aid must assume legal responsibility for the aiding party for acting or failing to act.

Full Title

Reciprical agreements with liability coverage

Full Text

(a) Protection from liability for foreign firefighters and foreign fire organizations. Subject to subsection (b), in an agreement with a foreign fire organization entered into under section 3 [42 USCS ยง 1856n], the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior may provide that--(1) a foreign firefighter shall be considered to be an employee of the United States for purposes of tort liability while the foreign firefighter is acting within the scope of an official duty under the agreement; and (2) any claim against the foreign fire organization or any legal organization associated with the foreign firefighter that arises out of an act or omission of the foreign firefighter in the performance of an official duty under the agreement, or that arises out of any other act, omission, or occurrence for which the foreign fire organization or legal organization associated with the foreign firefighter is legally responsible under applicable law, may be prosecuted only--(A) against the United States; and (B) as if the act or omission were the act or omission of an employee of the United States. (b) Protection from liability for Federal firefighters and the Federal Government. The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior may provide the protections under subsection (a) if the foreign fire organization agrees--(1) to assume any and all liability for any legal action brought against the Federal firefighter for an act or omission of the Federal firefighter while acting within the scope of an official duty under the agreement; and (2) to the extent the United States or any legal organization associated with the Federal firefighter is not entitled to immunity from the jurisdiction of the courts having jurisdiction over the foreign fire organization receiving the services of the Federal firefighters, to assume any and all liability for any legal action brought against the United States or the legal organization arising out of--(A) an act or omission of the Federal firefighter in the performance of an official duty under the agreement; or (B) any other act, omission, or occurrence for which the United States or the legal organization associated with the Federal firefighter is legally responsible under the laws applicable to the foreign fire organization.