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 requires a host to notify emergency responders when they have actual knowledge of a medical emergency of a guest 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 over eighteen years of age 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 enacting date on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.
JUSTIFICATION: Every year New Yorkers are seriously injured and many die as the result of medical emergencies that go unreported to emergency responders who could have rendered first-aid to those in need of such assistance. One of the numerous cases that led to the need for this legislation is an incident involving Steven Kovacs, a young man who was left to die in a private residence following a social gathering. Mr. Kovacs' serious medical state was known to the person in charge of the premises and yet no emergency notification was made that could have provided Mr. Kovacs with basic medical aid and possibly saved his life.
Unfortunately, the lack of any obligation to notify emergency responders of a medical emergency once they become aware of such an emergency results in countless avoidable deaths and serious injuries which could have been prevented had such a notification been attempted. This act shall affirm as a matter of public policy, the obligations of a residential host to simply notify emergency personnel in order to provide the victim of such an emergency the best possible chance of surviving, as one would expect any reasonable person to do. The mere act of notification of emergency responders by the host or any other person at the premises is a complete defense against any claim for damages.
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--B Cal. No. 78 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 -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second report, amended on second report, ordered to a third reading, and to be reprinted as amended, retaining its place in the order of third read- ing -- recommitted to the Committee on Judiciary in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second report, ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading 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 OVER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE HAVING CONTROL OVER A PRIVATE PREMISES. (B) "CONTROL" MEANS THE ACTUAL AUTHORITY AND ABILITY TO REGULATE, DIRECT OR DOMINATE THE PRIVATE PREMISES.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05048-05-4 S. 1178--B 2
(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, AS AN EXPRESSED INVITEE OF THE HOST. 2. A HOST WHO IS PRESENT AND HAS EXPRESSLY INVITED A GUEST TO BE PRES- ENT UPON THE PRIVATE PREMISES OVER WHICH THE HOST EXERCISES CONTROL, HAS A DUTY TO PROVIDE REASONABLE ASSISTANCE TO SAID INVITEE WHO IS SUFFERING OR HAS SUFFERED A MEDICAL EMERGENCY WHICH REASONABLY APPEARS TO THREATEN THE LIFE OF THE GUEST. UPON FAILURE TO GIVE REASONABLE ASSISTANCE TO SUCH GUEST AFTER A REQUEST FOR SUCH ASSISTANCE, AFTER HAVING OBTAINED KNOWLEDGE THAT SUCH ASSISTANCE WAS REASONABLY WARRANTED, SAID HOST SHALL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES FOR INJURIES SUSTAINED BY SUCH GUEST OR FOR DAMAGES FOR THE DEATH OF SUCH GUEST WHICH OCCURRED BY REASON OF SUCH FAILURE. SAID DUTY SHALL BE SATISFIED BY OBTAINING OR REASONABLY ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN AID FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT OR MEDICAL PERSONNEL. 3. NOTWITHSTANDING SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION, ONCE A HOST AT THE PRIVATE PREMISES HAS UNDERTAKEN TO RENDER REASONABLE ASSISTANCE TO A GUEST, IT SHALL BE A COMPLETE DEFENSE AGAINST ANY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES ALLEGEDLY CAUSED BY ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF SUCH PERSON IN RENDERING SUCH ASSISTANCE, UNLESS IT IS ESTABLISHED THAT SUCH INJURIES 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.