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Bill Number: 3861 Ratification Number: 800 Act Number 674 Introducing Body: House Subject: Charities, recovery against, provisions changed; health care provider, volunteer, liability, provisions deleted
(A674, R800, H3861)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 33-55-210, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE RECOVERY AGAINST CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS AND LIABILITY OF A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR SERVICES RENDERED VOLUNTARILY AND WITHOUT COMPENSATION, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT AN ACTION AGAINST THE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION, RATHER THAN THE JUDGMENT IN AN ACTION, UNDER SECTIONS 33-55-210 THROUGH 33-55-230 CONSTITUTES A COMPLETE BAR TO ANY RECOVERY, RATHER THAN A COMPLETE BAR TO ANY ACTION, BY THE CLAIMANT, BY REASON OF THE SAME SUBJECT MATTER, AGAINST THE EMPLOYEE OF THE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION WHOSE ACT OR OMISSION GAVE RISE TO THE CLAIM UNLESS IT IS ALLEGED AND PROVED IN THE ACTION THAT THE EMPLOYEE ACTED IN A RECKLESS, WILFUL, OR GROSSLY NEGLIGENT MANNER, PROVIDE THAT, IN SUCH A CASE, THE EMPLOYEE MUST BE PROPERLY JOINED AS A PARTY DEFENDANT, PROVIDE THAT NO JUDGMENT AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE OF A CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION MAY BE RETURNED EXCEPT UNDER SPECIFIC CONDITIONS, PROVIDE THAT IF THE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION FOR WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS ACTING CANNOT BE DETERMINED AT THE TIME THE ACTION IS INSTITUTED, THE PLAINTIFF MAY NAME AS A PARTY DEFENDANT THE EMPLOYEE, AND THAT THE ENTITY FOR WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS ACTING MUST BE ADDED OR SUBSTITUTED AS PARTY DEFENDANT WHEN IT CAN BE SO REASONABLY DETERMINED, AND DELETE CERTAIN PROVISIONS; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 33-55-220 RELATING TO THE PROVISION THAT THE BAR TO ANY ACTION AGAINST THE EMPLOYEE DOES NOT APPLY WHERE THE EMPLOYEE IS ADJUDGED TO HAVE ACTED RECKLESSLY OR WANTONLY OR WITH GROSS NEGLIGENCE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Charities, recovery against, provisions changed; health care provider, volunteer, liability, provisions deleted
SECTION 1. Section 33-55-210 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by an act of 1988 bearing ratification number 495, is further amended to read:
"Section 33-55-210. (A) Any person sustaining an injury or dying by reason of the tortious act of commission or omission of an employee of a charitable organization, when the employee is acting within the scope of his employment, may only recover in any action brought against the charitable organization for the actual damages he may sustain in an amount not exceeding two hundred thousand dollars. An action against the charitable organization under Sections 33-55-210 through 33-55-230 constitutes a complete bar to any recovery by the claimant, by reason of the same subject matter, against the employee of the charitable organization whose act or omission gave rise to the claim unless it is alleged and proved in the action that the employee acted in a reckless, wilful, or grossly negligent manner, and, in such case, the employee must be properly joined as a party defendant. No judgment against an employee of a charitable organization may be returned unless a specific finding is made that the employee acted in a reckless, wilful, or grossly negligent manner. If the charitable organization for which the employee was acting cannot be determined at the time the action is instituted, the plaintiff may name as a party defendant the employee, and the entity for which the employee was acting must be added or substituted as party defendant when it can be so reasonably determined.
(B) No licensed health care provider, as defined in Section 38-79-410, who renders medical services voluntarily and without compensation or the expectation or promise of compensation is liable for any civil damage for any act or omission resulting from the rendering of the services unless the act or omission was the result of the licensed health care provider's gross negligence or wilful misconduct. The agreement to provide voluntary noncompensated service must be made before the rendering of the service by the licensed health care provider."
SECTION 2. Section 33-55-220 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.