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Bill Watch, Jan. 15, 2021: Current Litigation Legislation of Note - Litigation News

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Litigation News


Posted on: Jan 21, 2021

The IndyBar Legislative Committee is currently monitoring the following litigation-related legislation. IndyBar members can request that the Legislative Committee track specific legislation by contacting committee chair Mindy Westrick at mwestrick@indianaenergy.org.

Click here to view the full Bill Watch reports.

HB1002    CIVIL IMMUNITY RELATED TO COVID-19 (TORR J) Protects health care providers from professional discipline for certain acts or omissions related to the provision of health care services during a state disaster emergency. Provides that the protection applies to the provision of health care services after February 29, 2020, and before April 1, 2022. Provides that a health care provider is not protected from professional discipline if the health care provider's action, omission, decision, or compliance constitutes gross negligence or willful misconduct. Provides that a health care provider is not protected from professional discipline for actions that are outside the skills, education, and training of the health care provider, unless the health care provider's actions are undertaken in good faith and in response to a lack of resources caused by a state disaster emergency. Specifies that orders and recommendations issued by local, state, and federal government agencies and officials during a state disaster emergency do not create new causes of action or new legal duties. Specifies that the orders and recommendations are presumed irrelevant to the issue of the existence of a duty or breach of a duty. Specifies that the orders and recommendations are inadmissible at trial to establish that a new cause of action has been created or proof of a duty or a breach of a duty. Prohibits bringing a civil action against another person based in whole or in part on an allegation that the person's loss, damage, injury, or death was caused by the: (1) exposure to COVID-19; (2) transmission of COVID-19; or (3) contraction of COVID-19; unless the person establishes that the other person caused the loss, damage, injury, or death by an act or omission constituting gross negligence or willful misconduct. Prohibits filing a class action lawsuit against a defendant in a civil action allowed by the statute. Specifies that a governmental entity or employee is not liable if a loss results from an act or omission arising from COVID-19 unless the act or omission constitutes gross negligence or willful misconduct. Provides that a person is not liable to a claimant for loss, damage, injury, or death arising from COVID-19 unless the claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that the person caused the loss, damage, injury, or death by an act or omission constituting gross negligence or willful misconduct. Provides immunity from civil liability to certain persons, entities, and facilities providing health care services after February 29, 2020, and before April 1, 2022, for certain acts or omissions related to the provision of health care services during a state disaster emergency.

HB1057    EMS IMMUNITY (TORR J) Adds: (1) certified emergency medical responders; (2) certified advanced emergency medical technicians; and (3) licensed paramedics; to certain statutes concerning negligence and emergency medical services. Provides that a certified emergency medical technician who provides certain emergency medical services (EMS) to an emergency patient is not liable for an act or omission in providing those services unless the act or omission constitutes gross negligence or willful misconduct. Provides that a certified emergency medical responder who uses an automatic or a semiautomatic defibrillator on an emergency patient according to certain procedures is immune from civil liability for acts or omissions when rendering those services unless the act or omission constitutes gross negligence or willful misconduct. Provides that an act or omission of a licensed paramedic or a certified advanced emergency medical technician done or omitted in good faith while providing advanced life support to a patient or trauma victim does not impose liability upon the paramedic or advanced emergency medical technician, the authorizing physician, the hospital, or the officers, members of the staff, nurses, other employees of the hospital, or the local governmental unit unless the act or omission constitutes gross negligence or willful misconduct.

HB1110    SMALL CLAIMS COURT PROCEDURES (BARTELS S) Provides that on the small claims docket, if the claim does not exceed $8,000: (1) all corporate entities, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships may appear by a designated full-time employee of the corporate entity; and (2) all trusts may appear by a trustee; in the presentation or defense of a claim arising out of the business.

HB1389    WAIVER OF COURT FEES RELATING TO KINSHIP CARE (SUMMERS V) Waives court costs and fees associated with the kinship care of a minor.

HB1425    LIABILITY FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (LYNESS R) Changes the emergency medical services civil liability standard to gross negligence. Provides emergency vehicle operators civil immunity for an act or omission committed by the operator while operating an emergency vehicle.

HB1431    SEAT BELT USAGE AND COMPARATIVE FAULT (CARBAUGH M) Provides that a plaintiff's failure to wear a seatbelt may be used as evidence of the plaintiff's fault in a civil action for damages.

HB1433    AUTOMATIC INTERNET SUBSCRIPTIONS (ABBOTT D) Provides that a business that offers a subscription, membership, or purchase agreement must adhere to certain requirements, including: (1) allowing a consumer that accepts an offer over the Internet to cancel the subscription, membership, or purchase agreement over the Internet; and (2) providing a clear and conspicuous cancellation policy to a consumer. Provides that a business that fails to comply with certain requirements renders any agreement or automatic renewal provision void and unenforceable. Provides that failure to comply with certain requirements is prima facie evidence that a person or business has engaged in an unfair or deceptive act that is actionable by the attorney general.

SB1    CIVIL IMMUNITY RELATED TO COVID-19 (MESSMER M) Provides civil immunity for damages resulting from exposure of an individual to COVID-19 on the premises owned or operated by a person, on any premises on which the person or an employee or agent of the person provided property or services to the individual, or during an activity managed, organized, or sponsored by the person. Defines "COVID-19 protective product" and provides civil immunity for harm that results from the design, manufacture, labeling, sale, distribution, or donation of a COVID-19 protective product, except for an act or omission that constitutes gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct (including fraud and intentionally tortious acts). Limits specified immunities to tort actions. Exempts fraud and intentionally tortious acts from specified immunities.

SB4    HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IMMUNITY (CHARBONNEAU E) Adds: (1) admissions to health facilities or housing with services establishments; and (2) services provided by additional health care professionals; to the definition of "health care services" for purposes of immunity for providing services during a declared disaster emergency. Provides civil immunity for the provision of certain services by persons during an event that is declared a disaster emergency. Removes the immunity requirement that the health care service be provided by a person who has an Indiana license to provide the health care service and that the service is within the scope of practice of the license. Specifies instances that do not constitute gross negligence or willful misconduct for purposes of immunity. Specifies information that must be included in a cause of action. Specifies that health care immunity provisions during a disaster emergency do not modify specified statutes.

SB38    ADVERSE POSSESSION STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (DORIOT B) Amends the statute concerning the statute of limitations for actions for the recovery of the possession of real estate to provide that such an action that: (1) involves a line located and established by a professional surveyor; and (2) accrues before the lines are located and established by the surveyor; must be commenced before the expiration of the appeal period set forth in the statute governing county surveyors. Amends the provision concerning the establishment of property lines by means of a legal survey to specify that the lines established are binding on all affected landowners, including a landowner who claims title under a claim of adverse possession. Provides that certain information must be contained in a notice of survey sent to adjoining landowners, and that a legible copy of the plat of the legal survey must be enclosed with the notice.

SB135    CIVIL STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS (FREEMAN A) Removes the statute of limitations for civil causes of action concerning child sexual abuse, and provides that a person who alleges an injury resulting from child sexual abuse may file an action in an otherwise time barred case. Specifies that a patient of a health facility who is injured while on the premises of the health facility may bring an action not later than two years from the date the injury: (1) occurs; or (2) is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. Makes conforming amendments.

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