Good samaritan law update nears Mass. governor’s desk

A good samaritan law is headed to Governor Deval Patrick's desk. Photo: recoveryconnection.org
A good samaritan law is headed to Governor Deval Patrick’s desk. Photo: recoveryconnection.org

A good samaritan law that would extend liability protection to off-duty emergency personnel appears on its way to becoming law, with the House on Tuesday giving its final approval to the legislation.

Currently, people who are not first responders and who make a good faith effort to help a person have some liability protection for the results of their help.

The bill (S 1993) extends that liability protection to off-duty firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians and others whose regular duties involve the provision of emergency medical care. The bill was filed by former Rep. Kathi Anne Reinstein, whose husband is a captain in the Chelsea Fire Department.

The legislation, which still requires enactment in the Senate and the signature of the governor to become law, would provide legal protections for off-duty emergency personnel who try to help people and are otherwise open to lawsuits.

“There were some incidents where people were off-duty, rendered aid, and they ended up being sued for the aid they gave in good faith,” said Revere Fire Chief Gene Doherty.

Doherty said he was unaware why emergency medical professionals were excluded from the samaritan law and said off-duty firefighters help people in emergencies even without the legal protections. “We’ve had people on plenty of occasions, off-duty, render aid,” Doherty told the News Service. He said, “I think the vast majority of firefighters wouldn’t hesitate to do that.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.