Enacts the "Steven Kovacs Law" to impose an affirmative duty upon a social host to render assistance to a guest on private premises in the event of a medical emergency.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general obligations law, in relation to enacting the "Steven Kovacs Law" to impose an affirmative duty upon a residential host to render assistance to a guest on private premises in the event of a medical emergency
PURPOSE: This legislation will make a social host liable for failing to notify emergency responders when a guest becomes incapacitated on the host's private premises.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one cites the title of the bill as the "Steven Kovacs Law."
Section two defines a host as a person having control over a private premises, and sets forth other relevant definitions of guest and private premises. Furthermore the bill imposes liability over a host, who is present and has actual knowledge that a guest on their private premises is suffering or has suffered a medical emergency, for failing to give reasonable assistance, including notifying an emergency responder.
Section three sets the effective date on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.
JUSTIFICATION: Every year New York residents are injured and many die as the result of medical emergencies that go unreported to emergency responders who can render first-aid to those in need of such assistance. One of the numerous cases that led to the need for this legislation is the incident involving Steven Kovacs, a young man who was left to die in a private residence following a social gathering. Mr. Kovacs illness was known to the social host in charge of the premises and yet no emergency notification was made to provide Mr. Kovacs with basic medical aid that may have saved his life. Most often, people fall victim to overindulgence of alcohol and narcotics during social events at private premises as well as commercial establishments such as bars, clubs and concerts.
Unfortunately, the lack of a legal obligation-of the social host in charge of the premises to notify emergency responders of a medical emergency once they become aware of such an emergency results in countless deaths and serious injuries which may be prevented by obligating the social host to make such a notification. This act shall affirm as a matter of public policy, the obligations of the social host to notify medical responders to a scene in order to provide the victim of such an emergency the best possible chance of surviving.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.7650-A (2012)
FISCAL IMPACT: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after becoming law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1178 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the general obligations law, in relation to enacting the "Steven Kovacs Law" to impose an affirmative duty upon a residential host to render assistance to a guest on private premises in the event of a medical emergency THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Steven Kovacs Law". S 2. Article 9 of the general obligations law is amended by adding a new title 2 to read as follows: TITLE 2 SOCIAL HOST RESPONSIBILITY SECTION 9-201. SOCIAL HOST RESPONSIBILITY. S 9-201. SOCIAL HOST RESPONSIBILITY. 1. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS: (A) "HOST" MEANS ANY PERSON HAVING CONTROL OVER A PRIVATE PREMISES. (B) "CONTROL" MEANS THE ACTUAL AUTHORITY AND ABILITY TO REGULATE, DIRECT OR DOMINATE THE PRIVATE PREMISES. (C) "PRIVATE PREMISES" MEANS ANY HOME, APARTMENT, CONDOMINIUM, COOPER- ATIVE UNIT OR OTHER DWELLING UNIT OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING YARDS AND OPEN AREAS OVER WHICH THE HOST HAS CONTROL. (D) "GUEST" MEANS A PERSON WHO IS PHYSICALLY PRESENT ON THE PRIVATE PREMISES OF A HOST, WHICH SHALL NOT BE DEEMED TO INCLUDE PERSONS TRES- PASSING UPON THE PRIVATE PREMISES. 2. A HOST WHO IS PRESENT AND HAS ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE THAT A GUEST ON THE PRIVATE PREMISES OVER WHICH THE HOST EXERCISES CONTROL IS SUFFERING OR HAS SUFFERED A MEDICAL EMERGENCY AND WHO FAILS TO GIVE REASONABLE ASSISTANCE TO SUCH GUEST SHALL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES FOR INJURIESEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05048-01-3 S. 1178 2
SUSTAINED BY SUCH GUEST OR FOR DAMAGES FOR THE DEATH OF SUCH GUEST WHICH OCCURRED BY REASON OF SUCH FAILURE. REASONABLE ASSISTANCE MAY INCLUDE OBTAINING OR ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN AID FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT OR MEDICAL PERSONNEL. 3. NOTWITHSTANDING SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION, ONCE A HOST OR OTHER PERSON AT THE PRIVATE PREMISES HAS UNDERTAKEN TO RENDER REASONABLE ASSISTANCE TO A GUEST, IT SHALL BE A COMPLETE DEFENSE AGAINST ANY CLAIM FOR CIVIL DAMAGES ALLEGEDLY CAUSED BY ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF SUCH PERSON IN RENDERING SUCH ASSISTANCE, UNLESS IT IS ESTABLISHED THAT SUCH INJU- RIES OR DEATH WERE CAUSED BY GROSS NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF SUCH PERSON. S 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.