Exemption from civil liability for furnishing safety inspection or advisory services.
The furnishing of, or failure to furnish, safety inspection or advisory services intended to reduce the likelihood of injury, death or loss shall not subject a state officer, employee or agent, or an insurer, the insurer's agent or employee undertaking to perform such services as an incident to insurance, to liability for damages from injury, death or loss occurring as a result of any act or omission in the course of the safety inspection or advisory services. This section shall not apply if the active negligence of the state officer, employee or agent, or of the insurer, the insurer's agent or employee created the condition that was the proximate cause of injury, death or loss. This section shall not apply to an insurer, the insurer's agent or employee performing the safety inspection or advisory services when required to do so under the provisions of a written service contract.
History: 1991 a. 39
; 2005 a. 155
; Stats. 2005 s. 895.475.
A “written service contract" is a contract that obligates the insurer to provide loss control services to an insured. Samuels Recycling Co. v. CNA Insurance Cos., 223 Wis. 2d 233
, 588 N.W.2d 385
(Ct. App. 1998), 97-3511
This section does not provide immunity from liability for a post-loss claim investigation performed by or on behalf of an insurance company pursuant to an insurance contract. This exemption from civil liability applies when an insurer voluntarily inspects an insured's property to ensure that it is safe and up-to-code, not when it arrives on the scene after the fact to adjust the insured's post-loss insurance claim based on its contractual obligations to do so. The very use of the terms “safety inspection" and “advisory services," as well as the exclusion for contractually obligated services, clearly indicates that this section is forward-looking, involving voluntary loss prevention services. Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Ropicky, 2021 WI App 25
, 397 Wis. 2d 196
, 959 N.W.2d 356
Civil liability exemption; exposure to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19. 895.476(1)(a)
“COVID-19” means the infection caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 or by any viral strain originating from SARS-CoV-2, and conditions associated with the infection.
“Entity” means a partnership, corporation, association, governmental entity, tribal government, tribal entity, or other legal entity, including a school, institution of higher education, or nonprofit organization. “Entity” includes an employer or business owner, employee, agent, or independent contractor of the entity, regardless of whether the person is paid or an unpaid volunteer. “Entity” includes an employer covered under ch. 108
Beginning March 1, 2020, an entity is immune from civil liability for the death of or injury to any individual or damages caused by an act or omission resulting in or relating to exposure, directly or indirectly, to the novel coronavirus identified as SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 in the course of or through the performance or provision of the entity's functions or services.
does not apply if the act or omission involves reckless or wanton conduct or intentional misconduct.
Immunity under this section is in addition to, not in lieu of, other immunity granted by law, and nothing in this section limits immunity granted under any other provision of law, including immunity granted under s. 893.80 (4)
History: 2021 a. 4
Civil liability exemption; opioid antagonists. 895.478(1)(f)
“Residence hall director” means the individual employed by any of the following to reside at a residence hall for students and oversee the management and operation of the hall:
The governing body of a private nonprofit institution of higher education located in this state.
Notwithstanding chs. 441
, and 450
, a residence hall director may administer an opioid antagonist to any student or other person who appears to be undergoing an opioid-related drug overdose if all of the following are satisfied:
The residence hall director has received training on the administration of opioid antagonists that is approved by his or her employer specified in sub. (1) (f) 1.
, or 3.
As soon as practicable after administering the opioid antagonist, the residence hall director reports the drug overdose by dialing the telephone number “911" or, in an area in which the telephone number “911" is not available, the telephone number for an emergency medical service provider.
A residence hall director is immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in administering an opioid antagonist under sub. (2)
unless the act or omission constitutes a high degree of negligence. This subsection does not apply to a residence hall director who is a health care professional.
An employer specified in sub. (1) (f) 1.
, or 3.
who approves training required under sub. (2) (a)
for the administration of opioid antagonists by a residence hall director is immune from civil liability for the act of approval unless it constitutes a high degree of negligence.
History: 2017 a. 29
Civil liability exemption; emergency medical care. 895.48(1)(1)
Except as provided in sub. (1g)
, any person who renders emergency care at the scene of any emergency or accident in good faith shall be immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in rendering such emergency care.
The immunity described in sub. (1)
and s. 450.11 (1i) (c) 3.
does not extend when employees trained in health care or health care professionals render emergency care for compensation and within the scope of their usual and customary employment or practice at a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities, at the scene of any emergency or accident, enroute to a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities, or at a physician's office.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, any physician, naturopathic doctor, physician assistant, podiatrist, or athletic trainer licensed under ch. 448
, chiropractor licensed under ch. 446
, dentist licensed under ch. 447
, emergency medical services practitioner licensed under s. 256.15
, emergency medical responder certified under s. 256.15 (8)
, registered nurse licensed under ch. 441
, or a massage therapist or bodywork therapist licensed under ch. 460
who renders voluntary health care to a participant in an athletic event or contest sponsored by a nonprofit corporation, as defined in s. 66.0129 (6) (b)
, a private school, as defined in s. 115.001 (3r)
, a tribal school, as defined in s. 115.001 (15m)
, a public agency, as defined in s. 46.856 (1) (b)
, or a school, as defined in s. 609.655 (1) (c)
, is immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in rendering that care if all of the following conditions exist:
The health care is rendered at the site of the event or contest, during transportation to a health care facility from the event or contest, or in a locker room or similar facility immediately before, during or immediately after the event or contest.
The physician, naturopathic doctor, podiatrist, athletic trainer, chiropractor, dentist, emergency medical services practitioner, as defined in s. 256.01 (5)
, emergency medical responder, as defined in s. 256.01 (4p)
, physician assistant, registered nurse, massage therapist or bodywork therapist does not receive compensation for the health care, other than reimbursement for expenses.
does not apply to health care services provided by a volunteer health care provider under s. 146.89
“Cardiac arrest" means the sudden cessation of cardiac function and the disappearance of arterial blood pressure that connote ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia.
“Pulseless ventricular tachycardia" means a disturbance in the normal rhythm of the heart that is characterized by rapid electrical activity of the heart with no cardiac output.
Any of the following, other than an emergency medical services practitioner or an emergency medical responder — defibrillation, is immune from civil liability for the acts or omissions of a person in rendering in good faith emergency care by use of an automated external defibrillator to an individual who appears to be in cardiac arrest:
The person who provides the automated external defibrillator for use, if the person ensures that the automated external defibrillator is maintained and tested in accordance with any operational guidelines of the manufacturer.
Any person who provides training in the use of an automated external defibrillator to the person who renders care.
The immunity specified in par. (am)
does not extend to any of the following:
A person whose act or omission resulting from the use or the provision for use of the automated external defibrillator constitutes gross negligence.
A health care professional who renders emergency care for compensation and within the scope of his or her usual and customary employment or practice at a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities, at the scene of an emergency or accident, enroute to a hospital or other institution equipped with hospital facilities or at a physician's office.
History: 1977 c. 164
; 1987 a. 14
; 1989 a. 31
; 1993 a. 109
; 1995 a. 227
; 1997 a. 67
; 1999 a. 7
; 2001 a. 74
; 2003 a. 33
; 2005 a. 155
; 2007 a. 130
; 2009 a. 113
; 2011 a. 260
; 2013 a. 200
; 2017 a. 12
; 2021 a. 130
Whatever the precise scope of “scene of any emergency or accident" in sub. (1), the phrase is sufficiently broad to include the defendant's home when the injured, bleeding plaintiff arrived after being hurt in an incident involving an all-terrain vehicle in nearby woods. In the circumstances of the case, “emergency care" under sub. (1) refers to the initial evaluation and immediate assistance, treatment, and intervention rendered to the plaintiff during the period before care could be transferred to professional medical personnel. Mueller v. McMillan Warner Insurance Co., 2006 WI 54
, 290 Wis. 2d 571
, 714 N.W.2d 183
There are three requirements before sub. (1) relieves a person from liability: 1) emergency care must be rendered at the scene of the emergency; 2) the care rendered must be emergency care; and 3) any emergency care must be rendered in good faith. Clayton v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., 2007 WI App 228
, 305 Wis. 2d 766
, 741 N.W.2d 297
Discussing the “Good Samaritan" law. 67 Atty. Gen. 218.
Incidental benefits received by volunteer members of the National Ski Patrol in exchange for rendering emergency care to disabled skiers may result in a loss of civil liability immunity under the Good Samaritan law. 79 Atty. Gen. 194
The Good Samaritan Statute. Lieb. 62 MLR 469 (1979).
The Good Samaritan Statute: Civil Liability Exemptions for Emergency Care. Szymanski. Wis. Law. July 2007.
Immunity for health care providers during COVID-19 emergency. 895.4801(1)(a)
“Health care professional” means an individual licensed, registered, or certified by the medical examining board under subch. II of ch. 448
or the board of nursing under ch. 441
Subject to sub. (3)
, any health care professional, health care provider, or employee, agent, or contractor of a health care professional or health care provider is immune from civil liability for the death of or injury to any individual or any damages caused by actions or omissions that satisfy all of the following:
The action or omission is committed while the professional, provider, employee, agent, or contractor is providing services during the state of emergency declared under s. 323.10
on March 12, 2020, by executive order 72, or the 60 days following the date that the state of emergency terminates.
The actions or omissions relate to health services provided or not provided in good faith or are substantially consistent with any of the following:
Any direction, guidance, recommendation, or other statement made by a federal, state, or local official to address or in response to the emergency or disaster declared as described under par. (a)
Any guidance published by the department of health services, the federal department of health and human services, or any divisions or agencies of the federal department of health and human services relied upon in good faith.
The actions or omissions do not involve reckless or wanton conduct or intentional misconduct.
History: 2019 a. 185
Civil liability exemption; hazardous materials. 895.4802(1)(c)
“Hazardous substance prediction" means any declaration or estimate of the likely spread or impact of an actual discharge of a hazardous substance that is based on meteorological, mathematical, computer or similar models.
“Hazardous substance predictor" means any person who makes a hazardous substance prediction pursuant to a contract or agreement with a public agency or pursuant to a contract or agreement with a person who possesses or controls hazardous substances for the purpose of assisting that person in supplying a public agency with a hazardous substance prediction in the event of an actual discharge of a hazardous substance.
Any person is immune from civil liability for his or her good faith acts or omissions related to assistance or advice which the person provides relating to an emergency or a potential emergency regarding either of the following:
Mitigating or attempting to mitigate the effects of an actual or threatened discharge of a hazardous substance.
Preventing or cleaning up or attempting to prevent or clean up an actual or threatened discharge of a hazardous substance.
The immunity under sub. (2)
does not extend to any person:
Whose act or omission causes in whole or in part the actual or threatened discharge and who would otherwise be liable for the act or omission;
Whose act or omission constitutes gross negligence or involves reckless, wanton or intentional misconduct; or
Who receives or expects to receive compensation, other than reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, for rendering the advice and assistance.
Any hazardous substance predictor or any person who provides the technology to enable hazardous substance predictions to be made is immune from civil liability for his or her good faith acts or omissions in making that prediction or providing that technology.
The good faith of any hazardous substance predictor or any person who provides the technology to make a prediction is presumed in any civil action. Any person who asserts that the acts or omissions under par. (a)
were not made in good faith has the burden of proving that assertion by clear and convincing evidence.
History: 2005 a. 155
; 2005 a. 347
NOTE: 2005 Wis. Act 347
, which affected this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
Civil liability exemption; information concerning paternity.
Any member of the staff of a hospital who is designated by the hospital and trained by the department of children and families under s. 69.14 (1) (cm)
and who in good faith provides to a child's available parents written information that is provided by the department of children and families and oral information or an audio or video presentation about statements acknowledging paternity as prescribed by the state registrar under s. 69.15 (3) (b) 3.
and about the significance and benefits of, and alternatives to, establishing paternity, under the requirements of s. 69.14 (1) (cm)
, is immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in providing that oral information or audio or video presentation and written information.