senate Bill S1178B

Enacts the "Steven Kovacs Law" to impose an affirmative duty upon a host to render assistance to a guest on private premises in the event of a medical emergency

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 04 / Jun / 2013
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.1013
  • 05 / Jun / 2013
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 10 / Jun / 2013
    • AMENDED 1178A
  • 10 / Jun / 2013
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 28 / Jan / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.78
  • 03 / Feb / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 04 / Feb / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 1178B
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A3303B

Summary

Enacts the "Steven Kovacs Law" to impose an affirmative duty upon a social host to render assistance to a guest on private premises in the event of a medical emergency.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3303B
Versions:
S1178
S1178A
S1178B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
General Obligations Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 9 Title 2 ยง9-201, Gen Ob L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S7560A, A10113B

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1178B

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general obligations law, in
relation to enacting the "Steven Kovacs Law" to impose an affirmative
duty upon a residential host to render assistance to a guest on
private premises in the event of a medical emergency

PURPOSE: This legislation will requires a host to notify emergency
responders when they have actual knowledge of a medical emergency of a
guest on the host's private premises.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one cites the title of the bill as the "Steven Kovacs Law."

Section two defines a host as a person over eighteen years of age
having control over a private premises, and sets forth other relevant
definitions of guest and private premises. Furthermore the bill
imposes liability over a host, who is present and has actual knowledge
that a guest on their private premises is suffering or has suffered a
medical emergency, for failing to give reasonable assistance,
including notifying an emergency responder.

Section three sets the enacting date on the sixtieth day after it
shall have become a law.

JUSTIFICATION: Every year New Yorkers are seriously injured and many
die as the result of medical emergencies that go unreported to
emergency responders who could have rendered first-aid to those in
need of such assistance. One of the numerous cases that led to the
need for this legislation is an incident involving Steven Kovacs, a
young man who was left to die in a private residence following a
social gathering. Mr. Kovacs' serious medical state was known to the
person in charge of the premises and yet no emergency notification was
made that could have provided Mr. Kovacs with basic medical aid and
possibly saved his life.

Unfortunately, the lack of any obligation to notify emergency
responders of a medical emergency once they become aware of such an
emergency results in countless avoidable deaths and serious injuries
which could have been prevented had such a notification been
attempted. This act shall affirm as a matter of public policy, the
obligations of a residential host to simply notify emergency personnel
in order to provide the victim of such an emergency the best possible
chance of surviving, as one would expect any reasonable person to do.
The mere act of notification of emergency responders by the host or
any other person at the premises is a complete defense against any
claim for damages.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S. 7650-A (2012)

FISCAL IMPACT: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after
becoming law.


view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 1178--B
    Cal. No. 78

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the  Committee  on  Judiciary  --  reported
  favorably  from  said  committee,  ordered to first and second report,
  amended on second report, ordered  to  a  third  reading,  and  to  be
  reprinted  as amended, retaining its place in the order of third read-
  ing -- recommitted to the Committee on Judiciary  in  accordance  with
  Senate  Rule  6,  sec.  8  --  reported favorably from said committee,
  ordered to first and  second  report,  ordered  to  a  third  reading,
  amended  and  ordered  reprinted,  retaining its place in the order of
  third reading

AN ACT to amend the general obligations law, in relation to enacting the
  "Steven Kovacs Law" to impose an affirmative duty upon  a  residential
  host  to render assistance to a guest on private premises in the event
  of a medical emergency

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  This  act  shall be known and may be cited as the "Steven
Kovacs Law".
  S 2. Article 9 of the general obligations law is amended by  adding  a
new title 2 to read as follows:
                                  TITLE 2
                       SOCIAL HOST RESPONSIBILITY
SECTION 9-201. SOCIAL HOST RESPONSIBILITY.
  S  9-201.  SOCIAL  HOST  RESPONSIBILITY.  1.  FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS
SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  (A) "HOST" MEANS ANY PERSON OVER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE HAVING  CONTROL
OVER A PRIVATE PREMISES.
  (B)  "CONTROL"  MEANS  THE  ACTUAL  AUTHORITY AND ABILITY TO REGULATE,
DIRECT OR DOMINATE THE PRIVATE PREMISES.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05048-05-4

S. 1178--B                          2

  (C) "PRIVATE PREMISES" MEANS ANY HOME, APARTMENT, CONDOMINIUM, COOPER-
ATIVE UNIT OR OTHER DWELLING UNIT OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING YARDS AND  OPEN
AREAS OVER WHICH THE HOST HAS CONTROL.
  (D)  "GUEST"  MEANS  A PERSON WHO IS PHYSICALLY PRESENT ON THE PRIVATE
PREMISES OF A HOST, AS AN EXPRESSED INVITEE OF THE HOST.
  2. A HOST WHO IS PRESENT AND HAS EXPRESSLY INVITED A GUEST TO BE PRES-
ENT UPON THE PRIVATE PREMISES OVER WHICH THE HOST EXERCISES CONTROL, HAS
A DUTY TO PROVIDE REASONABLE ASSISTANCE TO SAID INVITEE WHO IS SUFFERING
OR HAS SUFFERED A MEDICAL EMERGENCY WHICH REASONABLY APPEARS TO THREATEN
THE LIFE OF THE GUEST. UPON FAILURE TO  GIVE  REASONABLE  ASSISTANCE  TO
SUCH  GUEST  AFTER  A REQUEST FOR SUCH ASSISTANCE, AFTER HAVING OBTAINED
KNOWLEDGE THAT SUCH ASSISTANCE WAS REASONABLY WARRANTED, SAID HOST SHALL
BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES FOR  INJURIES  SUSTAINED  BY  SUCH  GUEST  OR  FOR
DAMAGES  FOR  THE  DEATH  OF SUCH GUEST WHICH OCCURRED BY REASON OF SUCH
FAILURE. SAID  DUTY  SHALL  BE  SATISFIED  BY  OBTAINING  OR  REASONABLY
ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN AID FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT OR MEDICAL PERSONNEL.
  3. NOTWITHSTANDING SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION, ONCE A HOST AT THE
PRIVATE  PREMISES  HAS  UNDERTAKEN  TO RENDER REASONABLE ASSISTANCE TO A
GUEST, IT SHALL BE A COMPLETE DEFENSE  AGAINST  ANY  CLAIM  FOR  DAMAGES
ALLEGEDLY  CAUSED  BY ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF SUCH PERSON IN RENDERING SUCH
ASSISTANCE, UNLESS IT IS ESTABLISHED THAT SUCH INJURIES  OR  DEATH  WERE
CAUSED BY GROSS NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF SUCH PERSON.
  S  3.  This  act  shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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