Report Title:

Medically Fragile Children; Foster Care; Liability

Description:

Provides immunity from liability from personal injury suit brought by biological parents of a medically fragile child against foster parents who care for that child.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2599

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to tort actions.

 

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

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that potential foster parents for medically fragile children are reluctant to become foster parents for those children because of concerns over personal injury liability suits brought by the biological parents of those children. The legislature further finds that insurance companies are reluctant to or do not issue liability insurance policies to cover the foster parents who care for medically fragile children. The result is that medically fragile children are effectively institutionalized indefinitely in hospitals when there are potential foster parents who would take them into their homes to care for that child, but for the problem of liability. The development and well-being of medically fragile children are best in a home rather than in a hospital.

The purpose of this Act is to provide immunity from liability to foster parents who care for medically fragile children.

SECTION 2. Chapter 663, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"663- Immunity for foster parent of medically fragile children. (a) A foster parent of a medically fragile child shall be immune from liability and damages for claims for personal injuries or other claims relating to the care of the child brought by the biological parent of that child or any other person standing in loco parentis to the child.

(b) Subsection (a) shall apply only if the foster parent meets the requirements under section 346-17.

(c) This section shall not be construed to abrogate the rights and duties of the biological parent under section 577-7.

(d) As used in this section, "medically fragile child" shall have the same meaning as "medically fragile children" under section 321-431."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________