Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 3. Actions
12/11/2018

§ 8.01-225. Persons rendering emergency care, obstetrical services exempt from liability.

A. Any person who:

1. In good faith, renders emergency care or assistance, without compensation, to any ill or injured person (i) at the scene of an accident, fire, or any life-threatening emergency; (ii) at a location for screening or stabilization of an emergency medical condition arising from an accident, fire, or any life-threatening emergency; or (iii) en route to any hospital, medical clinic, or doctor's office, shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such care or assistance. For purposes of this subdivision, emergency care or assistance includes the forcible entry of a motor vehicle in order to remove an unattended minor at risk of serious bodily injury or death, provided the person has attempted to contact a law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101, a firefighter, as defined in § 65.2-102, emergency medical services personnel, as defined in § 32.1-111.1, or an emergency 911 system, if feasible under the circumstances.

2. In the absence of gross negligence, renders emergency obstetrical care or assistance to a female in active labor who has not previously been cared for in connection with the pregnancy by such person or by another professionally associated with such person and whose medical records are not reasonably available to such person shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such emergency care or assistance. The immunity herein granted shall apply only to the emergency medical care provided.

3. In good faith and without compensation, including any emergency medical services provider who holds a valid certificate issued by the Commissioner of Health, administers epinephrine in an emergency to an individual shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment if such person has reason to believe that the individual receiving the injection is suffering or is about to suffer a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.

4. Provides assistance upon request of any police agency, fire department, emergency medical services agency, or governmental agency in the event of an accident or other emergency involving the use, handling, transportation, transmission, or storage of liquefied petroleum gas, liquefied natural gas, hazardous material, or hazardous waste as defined in § 10.1-1400 or regulations of the Virginia Waste Management Board shall not be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act of commission or omission on his part in the course of his rendering such assistance in good faith.

5. Is an emergency medical services provider possessing a valid certificate issued by authority of the State Board of Health who in good faith renders emergency care or assistance, whether in person or by telephone or other means of communication, without compensation, to any injured or ill person, whether at the scene of an accident, fire, or any other place, or while transporting such injured or ill person to, from, or between any hospital, medical facility, medical clinic, doctor's office, or other similar or related medical facility, shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such emergency care, treatment, or assistance, including but in no way limited to acts or omissions which involve violations of State Department of Health regulations or any other state regulations in the rendering of such emergency care or assistance.

6. In good faith and without compensation, renders or administers emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); cardiac defibrillation, including, but not limited to, the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED); or other emergency life-sustaining or resuscitative treatments or procedures which have been approved by the State Board of Health to any sick or injured person, whether at the scene of a fire, an accident, or any other place, or while transporting such person to or from any hospital, clinic, doctor's office, or other medical facility, shall be deemed qualified to administer such emergency treatments and procedures and shall not be liable for acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such emergency resuscitative treatments or procedures.

7. Operates an AED at the scene of an emergency, trains individuals to be operators of AEDs, or orders AEDs, shall be immune from civil liability for any personal injury that results from any act or omission in the use of an AED in an emergency where the person performing the defibrillation acts as an ordinary, reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances, unless such personal injury results from gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of the person rendering such emergency care.

8. Maintains an AED located on real property owned or controlled by such person shall be immune from civil liability for any personal injury that results from any act or omission in the use in an emergency of an AED located on such property unless such personal injury results from gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of the person who maintains the AED or his agent or employee.

9. Is an employee of a school board or of a local health department approved by the local governing body to provide health services pursuant to § 22.1-274 who, while on school property or at a school-sponsored event, (i) renders emergency care or assistance to any sick or injured person; (ii) renders or administers emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); cardiac defibrillation, including, but not limited to, the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED); or other emergency life-sustaining or resuscitative treatments or procedures that have been approved by the State Board of Health to any sick or injured person; (iii) operates an AED, trains individuals to be operators of AEDs, or orders AEDs; or (iv) maintains an AED, shall not be liable for civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions on the part of such employee while engaged in the acts described in this subdivision.

10. Is a volunteer in good standing and certified to render emergency care by the National Ski Patrol System, Inc., who, in good faith and without compensation, renders emergency care or assistance to any injured or ill person, whether at the scene of a ski resort rescue, outdoor emergency rescue, or any other place or while transporting such injured or ill person to a place accessible for transfer to any available emergency medical system unit, or any resort owner voluntarily providing a ski patroller employed by him to engage in rescue or recovery work at a resort not owned or operated by him, shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such emergency care, treatment, or assistance, including but not limited to acts or omissions which involve violations of any state regulation or any standard of the National Ski Patrol System, Inc., in the rendering of such emergency care or assistance, unless such act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

11. Is an employee of (i) a school board, (ii) a school for students with disabilities as defined in § 22.1-319 licensed by the Board of Education, or (iii) a private school accredited pursuant to § 22.1-19 as administered by the Virginia Council for Private Education and is authorized by a prescriber and trained in the administration of insulin and glucagon, who, upon the written request of the parents as defined in § 22.1-1, assists with the administration of insulin or, in the case of a school board employee, with the insertion or reinsertion of an insulin pump or any of its parts pursuant to subsection B of § 22.1-274.01:1 or administers glucagon to a student diagnosed as having diabetes who requires insulin injections during the school day or for whom glucagon has been prescribed for the emergency treatment of hypoglycemia shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment if the insulin is administered according to the child's medication schedule or such employee has reason to believe that the individual receiving the glucagon is suffering or is about to suffer life-threatening hypoglycemia. Whenever any such employee is covered by the immunity granted herein, the school board or school employing him shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such insulin or glucagon treatment.

12. Is an employee of a public institution of higher education or a private institution of higher education who is authorized by a prescriber and trained in the administration of insulin and glucagon, who assists with the administration of insulin or administers glucagon to a student diagnosed as having diabetes who requires insulin injections or for whom glucagon has been prescribed for the emergency treatment of hypoglycemia shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment if the insulin is administered according to the student's medication schedule or such employee has reason to believe that the individual receiving the glucagon is suffering or is about to suffer life-threatening hypoglycemia. Whenever any employee is covered by the immunity granted in this subdivision, the institution shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such insulin or glucagon treatment.

13. Is a school nurse, an employee of a school board, an employee of a local governing body, or an employee of a local health department who is authorized by a prescriber and trained in the administration of epinephrine and who provides, administers, or assists in the administration of epinephrine to a student believed in good faith to be having an anaphylactic reaction, or is the prescriber of the epinephrine, shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment.

14. Is an employee of a school for students with disabilities, as defined in § 22.1-319 and licensed by the Board of Education, or an employee of a private school that is accredited pursuant to § 22.1-19 as administered by the Virginia Council for Private Education who is authorized by a prescriber and trained in the administration of epinephrine and who administers or assists in the administration of epinephrine to a student believed in good faith to be having an anaphylactic reaction, or is the prescriber of the epinephrine, shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment. Whenever any employee is covered by the immunity granted in this subdivision, the school shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from such administration or assistance.

15. Is an employee of a public institution of higher education or a private institution of higher education who is authorized by a prescriber and trained in the administration of epinephrine and who administers or assists in the administration of epinephrine to a student believed in good faith to be having an anaphylactic reaction, or is the prescriber of the epinephrine, shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment. Whenever any employee is covered by the immunity granted in this subdivision, the institution shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from such administration or assistance.

16. Is an employee of an organization providing outdoor educational experiences or programs for youth who is authorized by a prescriber and trained in the administration of epinephrine and who administers or assists in the administration of epinephrine to a participant in the outdoor experience or program for youth believed in good faith to be having an anaphylactic reaction, or is the prescriber of the epinephrine, shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment. Whenever any employee is covered by the immunity granted in this subdivision, the organization shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from such administration or assistance.

17. Is an employee of a provider licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, or provides services pursuant to a contract with a provider licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, who has been trained in the administration of insulin and glucagon and who administers or assists with the administration of insulin or administers glucagon to a person diagnosed as having diabetes who requires insulin injections or for whom glucagon has been prescribed for the emergency treatment of hypoglycemia in accordance with § 54.1-3408 shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment if the insulin is administered in accordance with the prescriber's instructions or such person has reason to believe that the individual receiving the glucagon is suffering or is about to suffer life-threatening hypoglycemia. Whenever any employee of a provider licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services or a person who provides services pursuant to a contract with a provider licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services is covered by the immunity granted herein, the provider shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such insulin or glucagon treatment.

18. Is an employee of a provider licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, or provides services pursuant to a contract with a provider licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, who has been trained in the administration of epinephrine and who administers or assists in the administration of epinephrine to a person believed in good faith to be having an anaphylactic reaction in accordance with the prescriber's instructions shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment.

19. In good faith prescribes, dispenses, or administers naloxone or other opioid antagonist used for overdose reversal in an emergency to an individual who is believed to be experiencing or about to experience a life-threatening opiate overdose shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment if acting in accordance with the provisions of subsection X or Y of § 54.1-3408 or in his role as a member of an emergency medical services agency.

20. Is an employee of a school board, school for students with disabilities as defined in § 22.1-319 licensed by the Board of Education, or private school accredited pursuant to § 22.1-19 as administered by the Virginia Council for Private Education who is trained in the administration of injected medications for the treatment of adrenal crisis resulting from a condition causing adrenal insufficiency and who administers or assists in the administration of such medications to a student diagnosed with a condition causing adrenal insufficiency when the student is believed to be experiencing or about to experience an adrenal crisis pursuant to a written order or standing protocol issued by a prescriber within the course of his professional practice and in accordance with the prescriber's instructions shall not be liable for any civil damages for ordinary negligence in acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such treatment.

B. Any licensed physician serving without compensation as the operational medical director for an emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license as an emergency medical services agency issued by the Commissioner of Health shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from the rendering of emergency medical services in good faith by the personnel of such licensed agency unless such act or omission was the result of such physician's gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Any person serving without compensation as a dispatcher for any licensed public or nonprofit emergency medical services agency in the Commonwealth shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from the rendering of emergency services in good faith by the personnel of such licensed agency unless such act or omission was the result of such dispatcher's gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Any individual, certified by the State Office of Emergency Medical Services as an emergency medical services instructor and pursuant to a written agreement with such office, who, in good faith and in the performance of his duties, provides instruction to persons for certification or recertification as a certified basic life support or advanced life support emergency medical services provider shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions on his part directly relating to his activities on behalf of such office unless such act or omission was the result of such emergency medical services instructor's gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Any licensed physician serving without compensation as a medical advisor to an E-911 system in the Commonwealth shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from rendering medical advice in good faith to establish protocols to be used by the personnel of the E-911 service, as defined in § 58.1-1730, when answering emergency calls unless such act or omission was the result of such physician's gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Any licensed physician who directs the provision of emergency medical services, as authorized by the State Board of Health, through a communications device shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from the rendering of such emergency medical services unless such act or omission was the result of such physician's gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Any licensed physician serving without compensation as a supervisor of an AED in the Commonwealth shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from rendering medical advice in good faith to the owner of the AED relating to personnel training, local emergency medical services coordination, protocol approval, AED deployment strategies, and equipment maintenance plans and records unless such act or omission was the result of such physician's gross negligence or willful misconduct.

C. Any communications services provider, as defined in § 58.1-647, including mobile service, and any provider of Voice-over-Internet Protocol service, in the Commonwealth shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from rendering such service with or without charge related to emergency calls unless such act or omission was the result of such service provider's gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Any volunteer engaging in rescue or recovery work at a mine, or any mine operator voluntarily providing personnel to engage in rescue or recovery work at a mine not owned or operated by such operator, shall not be liable for civil damages for acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such rescue or recovery work in good faith unless such act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct. For purposes of this subsection, "Voice-over-Internet Protocol service" or "VoIP service" means any Internet protocol-enabled services utilizing a broadband connection, actually originating or terminating in Internet Protocol from either or both ends of a channel of communication offering real time, multidirectional voice functionality, including, but not limited to, services similar to traditional telephone service.

D. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to provide immunity from liability arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle.

E. For the purposes of this section, "compensation" shall not be construed to include (i) the salaries of police, fire, or other public officials or personnel who render such emergency assistance; (ii) the salaries or wages of employees of a coal producer engaging in emergency medical services or first aid services pursuant to the provisions of § 45.1-161.38, 45.1-161.101, 45.1-161.199, or 45.1-161.263; (iii) complimentary lift tickets, food, lodging, or other gifts provided as a gratuity to volunteer members of the National Ski Patrol System, Inc., by any resort, group, or agency; (iv) the salary of any person who (a) owns an AED for the use at the scene of an emergency, (b) trains individuals, in courses approved by the Board of Health, to operate AEDs at the scene of emergencies, (c) orders AEDs for use at the scene of emergencies, or (d) operates an AED at the scene of an emergency; or (v) expenses reimbursed to any person providing care or assistance pursuant to this section.

For the purposes of this section, "emergency medical services provider" shall include a person licensed or certified as such or its equivalent by any other state when he is performing services that he is licensed or certified to perform by such other state in caring for a patient in transit in the Commonwealth, which care originated in such other state.

Further, the public shall be urged to receive training on how to use CPR and an AED in order to acquire the skills and confidence to respond to emergencies using both CPR and an AED.

Code 1950, § 54-276.9; 1962, c. 449; 1964, c. 568; 1968, c. 796; 1972, c. 578; 1975, c. 508; 1977, c. 441; 1978, cc. 94, 707; 1979, cc. 713, 729; 1980, c. 419; 1983, c. 72; 1984, cc. 493, 577; 1987, cc. 260, 382; 1990, c. 898; 1996, c. 899; 1997, cc. 334, 809; 1998, cc. 493, 500; 1999, cc. 570, 1000; 2000, cc. 928, 1064; 2003, cc. 18, 978, 1020; 2005, c. 426; 2006, c. 780; 2008, c. 229; 2012, cc. 787, 833; 2013, cc. 183, 267, 300, 336, 617; 2014, c. 468; 2015, cc. 340, 387, 502, 503, 725, 732, 752; 2016, c. 144; 2017, cc. 55, 168, 294, 304, 713, 811; 2018, c. 247.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.