Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

R.I. Gen. Laws 5-8-25

Summary Title

Liability: Engineer


When an emergency declaration is in effect, an engineer who, voluntarily and without compensation, provides engineering services will not be held legally responsible. They can be held legally responsible if acting with extreme carelessness or intent to cause harm.

Full Title

Engineers rendering assistance during disaster emergency -- Immunity from civil liability

Full Text

(a) An engineer or engineering firm, duly licensed to practice in Rhode Island under this chapter, who voluntarily and without compensation provides engineering services at the scene of a disaster emergency shall not be liable for any personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, or other loss or damages caused by an act or omission of the engineer or engineering firm in performing the services. (b) As used in this section, "disaster emergency" means a disaster emergency declared by executive order or proclamation of the governor pursuant to chapter 15 of title 30. (c) The immunity provided in subsection (a) of this section only applies to the practice of engineering as defined in this chapter regarding an engineering service that: (1) Concerns any building, structure or system whether publicly or privately owned that is identified pursuant to a disaster emergency executive order or proclamation; (2) Relates to the structural integrity of the entire building structure or system or any portion of the structure or system, or to a nonstructural element of the structure or system, affecting public safety; and (3) Is rendered during the time in which a state of disaster emergency exists, as provided in chapter 15 of title 30. (d) The immunity granted by this section does not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or willful misconduct.