OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING LEGAL PROTECTIONS FOR PERSONS ENTERING PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLES TO RENDER EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE TO CHILDREN.
Under certain circumstances, this bill provides an affirmative defense against civil damages or criminal penalties to someone who enters another person's passenger motor vehicle, including by force, to remove a child who he or she reasonably believes is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury. It covers the person's actions or omissions in removing the child as long as he or she:
1. uses no more force than reasonably necessary, under the circumstances the person knows at the time, to enter the vehicle to remove the child;
2. reports the entry and related circumstances to a law enforcement or public safety agency within a reasonable time after entering the vehicle; and
3. takes reasonable steps to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of the child after removal from the vehicle.
The affirmative defense provided under the bill is in addition to defenses or immunities available under federal, state, or common law but does not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross, willful, or wanton negligence. Under the bill, a person may still be liable for civil damages if he or she attempts to provide aid to the child in addition to the actions the bill authorizes.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017
Under the bill:
1. a “passenger motor vehicle” is a motor vehicle used for private transportation of people and their belongings, designed to carry up to 10 passengers, including the operator, in comfort and safety and
2. a “public safety agency” is a functional municipal or state division that provides firefighting, law enforcement, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services.
sSB 513, reported favorably by the Environment Committee, grants immunity to certain emergency response personnel who render emergency assistance to a child or animal locked in a vehicle when weather conditions reasonably may be expected to threaten the child's or animal's health or welfare.