REPORT TITLE:
State Employee; Liability


DESCRIPTION:
Exempts from medical liability a state employee (clinical lab
technologist, nurse, physician, psychologist, and the like)
acting within the scope of the employee's employment, except for
gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions.  Requires attorney
general to defend in all cases within scope of duty of employee.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           636
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO LIABILITY OF STATE EMPLOYEES.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding
 
 2 a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as
 
 3 follows:
 
 4      "   -    State employees; immunity from civil liability.
 
 5 (a)  No action for injury or death shall be brought against a
 
 6 state employee employed or acting as a clinical laboratory
 
 7 technologist or technician, dentist, nurse, nursing home
 
 8 administrator, osteopath, physician, surgeon, physical therapist,
 
 9 podiatrist, veterinarian, or psychologist within the scope of the
 
10 employee's job duties, who is duly licensed or registered under
 
11 the laws of the State as such, based upon the employee's alleged
 
12 professional negligence, or for rendering professional services
 
13 without consent, or for error or omission in the employee's
 
14 practice while acting within the scope of the employee's
 
15 employment, except for such damages as may result from the
 
16 employee's gross negligence, or wanton acts or omissions.
 
17      (b)  No action for injury or death shall be brought against
 
18 a former state employee who was employed or acted as a clinical
 
19 laboratory technologist or technician, dentist, nurse, nursing
 

 
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                                     S.B. NO.           636
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 home administrator, osteopath, physician, surgeon, physical
 
 2 therapist, podiatrist, veterinarian, or psychologist within the
 
 3 scope of the former employee's job duties when employed by the
 
 4 State, who was duly licensed or registered under the laws of the
 
 5 State as such, based upon the former employee's alleged
 
 6 professional negligence, or for rendering professional services
 
 7 without consent, or for error or omission in the former
 
 8 employee's practice while acting within the scope of the former
 
 9 employee's employment by the State, except for such damages as
 
10 may result from the former employee's gross negligence while
 
11 employed by the State, or wanton acts or omissions."
 
12      SECTION 2.  Section 662-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
13 amended to read as follows:
 
14      "662-16  Defense of state employees.  The attorney general
 
15 may defend any civil action or proceeding brought in any court
 
16 against any employee of the State for damage to property or for
 
17 personal injury, including death, resulting from the act or
 
18 omission of any state employee while acting within the scope of
 
19 the employee's employment[.]; provided that the attorney general
 
20 shall defend or cause to be defended any civil action for a
 
21 medical tort against any employee of the State while acting
 
22 within the scope of the employee's employment.  The employee
 
23 against whom such civil action or proceeding is brought shall
 

 
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                                     S.B. NO.           636
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 deliver within the time after the date of service or knowledge of
 
 2 service as determined by the attorney general, all process or
 
 3 complaint served upon the employee or an attested true copy
 
 4 thereof to the employee's immediate superior or to whomever was
 
 5 designated by the head of the employee's department to receive
 
 6 such papers and such person shall promptly furnish copies of the
 
 7 pleadings and process therein to the department of the attorney
 
 8 general.
 
 9      No judgment by default shall be entered against a state
 
10 employee based on a cause of action arising out of an act or
 
11 omission of such employee while acting within the scope of the
 
12 employee's employment unless the department of the attorney
 
13 general has received a copy of the complaint or other relevant
 
14 pleadings and a period of twenty days has elapsed from the date
 
15 of such receipt.
 
16      The attorney general may also defend any civil action or
 
17 proceeding brought in any court against a county based on an
 
18 allegedly negligent or wrongful act or omission of persons
 
19 employed by a county as lifeguards and designated to provide
 
20 lifeguard services at a designated state beach park under an
 
21 agreement between the State and a county.
 
22      The attorney general may also defend any civil action or
 
23 proceeding brought in any court against any provider of medical,
 

 
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                                     S.B. NO.           636
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 dental, or psychological services pursuant to contract with the
 
 2 department of public safety when the provider is sued for acts or
 
 3 omissions within the contract's scope of work."
 
 4      SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 
 5 New statutory material is underscored.
 
 6      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 
 7 
 
 8                              INTRODUCED BY:______________________