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Connecticut Legislature Extends Immunity for Emergency Assistance by Health Care Professionals to Cover Malfunctioning Automatic External Defibrillators

On July 1, 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act No. 19-113 “An Act Concerning the Use of Automatic External Defibrillators” (PA 19-113). This law takes effect October 1, 2019.

Currently, certain health care professionals who operate an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to give emergency medical or professional assistance outside of the scope of their normal employment are immune from civil liability for any personal injuries resulting from acts or omissions rendering emergency care that could constitute ordinary negligence. Current law also provides immunity for negligent acts or omissions by a person or entity that provides or maintains an AED. However, immunity does not apply to gross, willful, or wanton negligence, and is limited to acts or omissions involving the use of an AED in rendering emergency care.

PA 19-113 extends – to physicians, dentists, or nurses who operate an AED to render emergency care to a person in need – immunity from civil liability for personal injuries caused by the AED’s malfunctioning, as long as the malfunctioning is not due to the rendering health care professional’s negligence.

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