Wildflowers bloom in the Sierra Nevada
Wildflowers bloom in the Sierra Nevada

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Professional Liability

Federal

The Volunteer Protection Act, which was signed into law on June 18, 1997, limits lawsuits against volunteers serving nonprofit public and private organizations and governmental agencies. The Act:

  • Requires that a volunteer be properly licensed, certified, or authorized
  • Requires that a volunteer act within the scope of his or her duties as a volunteer
  • Does not cover the operation of motor vehicles
  • Covers volunteers for nonprofit organizations and government agencies, but it does not cover the organizations or agencies
  • Does not prohibit lawsuits, but it does provide a potential defense for the volunteer if he or she is sued
  • Defines the term "volunteer" as someone who does not receive compensation for his or her services
  • Allows states to place additional conditions upon immunity for volunteers
  • Does not specifically include or exclude medical or other healthcare volunteers
  • Does not include acts of willful misconduct or negligence

State

Nevada Revised Statute 414.110 established immunity and protection for workers who participate in the management of an emergency.

Section 1 of the statute affirms that political subdivisions (e.g., a city or county) or organizations (e.g., local hospitals and community-based organizations) involved in the management of an incident shall not be held liable for injury or death or for property damage as a result of the management of the incident. Exceptions include acts of willful misconduct, gross negligence, and bad faith.

Section 3 relates specifically to individuals who serve as volunteers for those political subdivisions and organizations involved in the management of an incident. The volunteer shall not be held responsible for injury, death, or property damage caused while complying with the activities defined under NRS 414. Exceptions include acts of willful misconduct, gross negligence, and bad faith.

For full text of NRS 414.110, go to: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRs/NRS-414.html#NRS414Sec110