Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2021


RE:   H.B. No. 540

      H.D. 2





Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 540, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to make a health care provider who acts in good faith during an emergency immune from civil or criminal liability if they adhere to crisis standards of care.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Substance Abuse Coalition, Queen's Health Systems, and one individual.  Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Association for Justice.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General and one individual.


     Your Committee finds that during a surge response to a catastrophic emergency event, such as what occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for healthcare services may substantially exceed supply, which forces health care providers to shift from normal standards of care to crisis standards of care.  Your Committee further finds that health care providers should not be in a position of liability when they are forced to make patient care decisions under the duress of a global pandemic and surge conditions.

     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Adding exceptions that would subject a health care provider to civil or criminal liability in cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence, or recklessness;


     (2)  Including under the circumstances for which a health care provider shall be immune from civil or criminal liability situations where the health care provider is engaged in emergent care functions directly related to the declared state of emergency or local state of emergency; and


     (3)  Inserting a definition for "health care provider".


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 540, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 540, H.D. 2.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs,