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Monday, May 12, 2008

Protecting Good Samaritans

Posted By on Mon, May 12, 2008 at 3:28 PM

By: Jeremy Alford

Senate President Joel Chaisson, a Destrehan Democrat, wants to make sure Louisiana’s “Good Samaritan” law protects certain hurricane recovery workers. So far, lawmakers agree; Senate Bill 330 is moving swiftly toward final passage. Chaisson told the Senate last week that the state should protect medical personnel who, in good faith, stay behind after a storm to help out, whether they’re getting paid or not. That means protections from civil damages and any other penalties if an unintended misstep occurs.

“Even those who come in from outside the state to help and provide services should be protected under the ‘Good Samaritan’ law,” Chaisson says. Such assistance, however, must be provided during a declared state of emergency, according to the legislation. Although special protections would be afforded, the bill does not cover “gross negligence or willful misconduct.” The Senate approved the bill unanimously.

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