Senator Gianaris Announces New Legislation Expanding Good Samaritan Laws

Bill allows local businesses and non-profits to be safe-havens for crime victims

Queens, NY – Continuing his fight to ensure safety in the neighborhood, Senator Michael Gianaris today announced he has introduced new legislation expanding New York’s “Good Samaritan” laws. The legislation would protect local businesses and non-profits offering themselves as safe havens from being held liable for damages or injuries that may have occurred while helping a victim.

Senator Gianaris held a press conference at Dazies, a restaurant owned by a small business owner in Sunnyside, to formally announce the legislation.

“Protecting small businesses that rush to aid someone in distress will increase the safe havens available to crime victims and make our streets safer,” Senator Gianaris said. “By encouraging businesses to act in good faith in an emergency, this legislation creates a stronger safety net for individuals who may otherwise feel apprehensive about travelling alone or in unknown neighborhoods.”

Currently, “Good Samaritan” laws only protect individuals from liability for damages or injuries incurred by a victim while seeking assistance in an emergency. Senator Gianaris’ bill would extend those laws to pertain to local businesses and non-profits acting as safe havens to help individuals who feel at risk or victimized.

In November, Senator Gianaris held an anti-crime rally with local leaders to protest the recent, unusual uptick in crime in western Queens. The elected officials used the rally to announce new crime-fighting initiatives to increase safety in the neighborhood, including the Gianaris measure to expand the “Good Samaritan” laws.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Assemblymember Aravella Simotas.

Assemblymember Simotas said, “Promoting public safety is a community endeavor, and organizations that step in to help the victim of a crime need to know that they have the law on their side. I am proud to sponsor Senator Gianaris’ legislation in the Assembly and support small businesses and non-profits who act as ‘Good Samaritans’ to those in need.”