Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Committee Bill No. 5054

January Session, 2011

 

LCO No. 4745

 

*04745HB05054PD_*

Referred to Committee on Planning and Development

 

Introduced by:

 

(PD)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING INDEMNITY FOR VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANIES, VOLUNTEER FIRE POLICE PATROLS AND VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE SERVICES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 7-308 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

(a) As used in this section, "municipality" shall have the meaning ascribed to it by section 7-314; "fire duties" means those duties the performance of which is defined in [said] section 7-314; "ambulance service" means "ambulance service" as defined in section 7-314b; [and] "volunteer ambulance member" means "active member of an organization certified as a volunteer ambulance service in accordance with section 19a-180" as defined in section 7-314b; and "volunteer fire police patrol member" means any member of a nonprofit volunteer organization operating under a municipal fire department that provides support services to such department who has completed firefighter training in the state.

(b) Each municipality of this state, notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, general, special or local, or any limitation contained in the provisions of any charter, shall [pay on behalf of any paid or volunteer fireman or volunteer ambulance member of such municipality all sums which such fireman or volunteer ambulance member becomes obligated to pay by reason of liability imposed upon such fireman or volunteer ambulance member by law for damages to person or property, if the fireman or volunteer ambulance member, at the time of the occurrence, accident, injury or damages complained of, was performing fire or volunteer ambulance duties and if such occurrence, accident, injury or damage was not the result of any wilful or wanton act of such fireman or volunteer ambulance member in the discharge of such duties] protect and save harmless any volunteer firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member of such municipality from financial loss and expense, including legal fees and costs, if any, arising out of any claim, demand, suit or judgment by reason of alleged negligence, or for alleged infringement of any person's civil rights, on the part of such volunteer firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member while performing fire, volunteer ambulance or fire police patrol duties. In addition, each municipality shall protect and save harmless any such volunteer firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member from financial loss and expense, including legal fees and costs, if any, arising out of any claim, demand or suit instituted against such volunteer firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member by reason of alleged malicious, wanton or wilful act or ultra vires act, on the part of such volunteer firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member while performing fire, volunteer ambulance or fire police patrol duties. In the event such volunteer firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member has a judgment entered against such volunteer firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member for a malicious, wanton or wilful act in a court of law, such municipality shall be reimbursed by such volunteer firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member for expenses it incurred in providing such defense and shall not be held liable to such volunteer firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member for any financial loss resulting from such act. This section shall not apply to damages to person caused by an employee to a fellow employee while both employees are engaged in the scope of their employment for such municipality if the employee suffering such damages or, in the case of his death, his dependent, has a right to benefits or compensation under chapter 568 by reason of such damages. If a [fireman] firefighter or, in the case of his or her death, his or her dependent, has a right to benefits or compensation under chapter 568 by reason of injury or death caused by the negligence or wrong of a fellow employee while both employees are engaged in the scope of their employment for such municipality, such [fireman] firefighter or, in the case of his or her death, his or her dependent, shall have no cause of action against such fellow employee to recover damages for such injury or death unless such wrong was wilful and malicious. Such municipality may arrange for and maintain appropriate insurance or may elect to act as a self-insurer to maintain such protection. No action or proceeding instituted pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be prosecuted or maintained against the municipality or [fireman] firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member unless at least thirty days have elapsed since the demand, claim or claims upon which such action or special proceeding is founded were presented to the clerk or corresponding officer of such municipality. No action for personal injuries or damages to real or personal property shall be maintained against such municipality and [fireman] firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member unless such action is commenced within one year after the cause of action therefor arose and notice of the intention to commence such action and of the time when and the place where the damages were incurred or sustained has been filed with the clerk or corresponding officer of such municipality and with the [fireman within] firefighter, volunteer ambulance member or volunteer fire police patrol member not later than six months after such cause of action has accrued. No action for trespass shall lie against any [fireman] firefighter crossing or working upon lands of another to extinguish fire or for investigation thereof. No action for trespass shall lie against any volunteer ambulance member crossing or working upon lands of another while performing ambulance services. No action for trespass shall lie against any volunteer fire police patrol member crossing or working upon lands of another while performing fire police patrol services. Governmental immunity shall not be a defense in any action brought under this section. In any such action the municipality and the [fireman] firefighter, or the municipality and the volunteer ambulance member, or the municipality and the volunteer fire police patrol member, may be represented by the same attorney. [if the municipality, at the time such attorney enters his appearance, files a statement with the court, which shall not become part of the pleadings or judgment file, that it will pay any final judgment rendered in such action against such fireman or volunteer ambulance member. No mention of any kind shall be made of such statement by any counsel during the trial of such action.]

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2011

7-308

Statement of Purpose:

To provide indemnity to volunteer firefighters, members of volunteer fire police patrols and members of volunteer ambulance services.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]

Co-Sponsors:

REP. CAMILLO, 151st Dist.; REP. HWANG, 134th Dist.

SEN. WITKOS, 8th Dist.; REP. CRAWFORD, 35th Dist.

SEN. FRANTZ, 36th Dist.; SEN. CRISCO, 17th Dist.

REP. SAMPSON, 80th Dist.; REP. BETTS, 78th Dist.

REP. SIMANSKI, 62nd Dist.; REP. GREENE, 105th Dist.

SEN. GUGLIELMO, 35th Dist.; REP. SHABAN, 135th Dist.

H.B. 5054