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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 351         FILED ON: 1/16/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 795

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Karen E. Spilka

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act protecting engineers, architects, environmental professionals, landscape architects, planners, land surveyors, licensed site professionals, and contractors who render voluntary services at the scene of a disaster or catastrophe.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Karen E. Spilka

Second Middlesex and Norfolk

William Smitty Pignatelli

4th Berkshire

Donald Humason

 

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

12th Hampden

Todd M. Smola

1st Hampden

Sarah K. Peake

4th Barnstable

John V. Fernandes

10th Worcester

Tackey Chan

2nd Norfolk

Paul Brodeur

32nd Middlesex

Benjamin Swan

11th Hampden

Michael F. Rush

Norfolk and Suffolk

Chris Walsh

6th Middlesex

James T. Welch

Hampden

Brian M. Ashe

2nd Hampden

Michael O. Moore

Second Worcester

Carolyn C. Dykema

8th Middlesex

Michael R. Knapik

Second Hampden and Hampshire

Gale D. Candaras

First Hampden and Hampshire

Daniel A. Wolf

Cape and Islands


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 351        FILED ON: 1/16/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 795

By Ms. Spilka, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 795) of Karen E. Spilka, William Smitty Pignatelli, Donald F. Humason, Jr., Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr. and other members of the General Court for legislation to protect engineers, architects, environmental professionals, landscape architects, planners, land surveyors, licensed site professionals, and contractors who render voluntary services at the scene of a disaster or catastrophe.  The Judiciary. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

_______________

 

An Act protecting engineers, architects, environmental professionals, landscape architects, planners, land surveyors, licensed site professionals, and contractors who render voluntary services at the scene of a disaster or catastrophe.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after section 60P of chapter 112 the following new section:--

              Section 60Q. Engineers’, architects’, environmental professionals’, landscape architects’, planners’, land surveyors’, licensed site professionals’, and contractors’ Good Samaritan Act.

              SECTION 1. As used in this section:

              (a) “Professional Engineer” shall mean a person duly licensed under chapter one hundred twelve, section eighty-one D, as a professional engineer. The term shall include any firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization engaged in the business of providing engineering services and employing such professional engineer, and any owner, officer, director, shareholder, partner, or employee of such firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization.

              (b) “Architect” shall mean a person duly licensed under chapter one hundred twelve, section sixty A, as an architect. The term shall include any firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization engaged in the business of providing architecture services and mploying such architect, and any owner, officer, director, shareholder, partner, or employee of such firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization.

              (c) “Environmental Professional” shall mean a person duly licensed under chapter twenty-one A, sections 19 through 19J, inclusive, as a hazardous waste site cleanup professional (“licensed site professional”). The term shall include any firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization engaged in the business of providing hazardous waste site cleanup services and employing such licensed site professional, and any owner, officer, director, shareholder, partner, or employee of such firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization.

              (d) “Landscape Architect” shall mean a person duly licensed under chapter one hundred twelve, section ninety-eight, as a landscape architect. The term shall include any firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization engaged in the business of providing landscape architecture services and employing such landscape architect, and any owner, officer, director, shareholder, partner, or employee of such firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization.

              (e) “Planner” shall mean a person duly certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners as a certified planner. The term shall include any firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization engaged in the business of providing planning services and employing such planner, and any owner, officer, director, shareholder, partner, or employee of such firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization.

              (f) “Land Surveyor” shall mean a person duly licensed under chapter one hundred twelve, section eighty-one D, as a professional land surveyor. The term shall include any firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization engaged in the business of providing land surveying services and employing such land surveyor, and any owner, officer, director, shareholder, partner, or employee of such firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization.

              (g) “Contractor” shall mean any person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization that is engaged in the business of designing, developing, constructing, altering, adding to, or repairing new or existing structures, buildings, facilities, project utilities, equipment, machines, processes, piping, or other engineered systems or infrastructure, or their appurtenances. The term shall include:

                            (i) an owner, officer, director, shareholder, partner, or employee of the contractor;

                            (ii) subcontractors and suppliers of labor and materials used by a contractor in a building, structure, facility, project utility, equipment, machine, process, piping, or other engineered system or infrastructure; and

                            (iii) a risk retention group registered under applicable law, if any, that insures all or any part of a contractor’s liability for the cost to repair a construction defect.

              (h) “Public Official” shall mean any federal, state, or locally appointed or elected official with overall executive responsibility in the jurisdiction in which the emergency or event has occurred.

              (i) “Public Safety Official” shall mean any appointed or elected federal, state, or local official with overall executive responsibility to coordinate public safety in the jurisdiction in which the emergency or event has occurred.

              (j) “Law Enforcement Official” shall mean any appointed or elected federal, state, or local official with overall executive responsibility to coordinate law enforcement in the jurisdiction in which the emergency or event has occurred.

              (k) “Building Inspection Official” shall mean any appointed or elected federal, state, or local official with overall executive responsibility to coordinate building inspection in the jurisdiction in which the emergency or event has occurred.

              (l) “Environmental Official” shall mean any federal, state, or local official with overall responsibility for coordinating an environmental response in the jurisdiction in which the emergency or event has occurred.

              (k) “Natural Disaster or Catastrophe” shall mean any event, whether man-made or natural, that is declared an emergency by the President of the United States or by the governor, or which results in the deployment of emergency response personnel or the displacement of persons from the area of the event.

              SECTION 2. A Professional Engineer, Architect, Environmental Professional, Landscape Architect, Planner, Land Surveyor, Licensed Site Professional, or Contractor who voluntarily, without compensation and acting in good faith, provides structural, electrical, mechanical, or other engineering, architectural, environmental, landscape architectural, planning, land surveying, waste site cleanup, contracting, or other professional design services related to a natural disaster or catastrophe at the request of or with the approval of a national, state, or local Public Official, Law Enforcement Official, Public Safety Official, Building Inspection Official, or Environmental Official believed by the Professional Engineer, Architect, Environmental Professional, Landscape Architect, Land Surveyor, Licensed Site Professional, or Contractor to be acting in an official capacity, shall not be liable for any personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, or other loss caused by the Professional Engineer’s, Architect’s, Environmental Professional’s, Landscape Architect’s, Planner’s, Land Surveyor’s, Licensed Site Professional’s, or Contractor’s acts, errors, or omissions in the performance of any engineering, architectural, environmental, landscape architectural, planning, land surveying, waste site cleanup, or contracting services for any site, structure, building, facility, project utility, equipment, machine, process, piping, or other engineered system or infrastructure, either publicly or privately owned.

              (a) The immunity provided in this section shall apply only to the provision of voluntary engineering, architectural, environmental, landscape architectural, planning, land surveying, waste site cleanup, contracting, or other professional design services during the natural disaster or catastrophe or within ninety days of the end of the natural disaster or catastrophe, unless the period of emergency is extended by an executive order issued by the governor under the governor’s emergency executive powers.

              (b) Nothing in this section shall provide immunity for wanton, willful, or intentional misconduct, or gross negligence.

              (c) When a Professional Engineer, Architect, Environmental Professional, Landscape Architect, Planner, Land Surveyor, Licensed Site Professional, or Contractor voluntarily renders services at the request of or with the approval of a state or local employee or official, and where such services fall within the ambit of the immunity provided in this section, the liability of the state or locality, if any, which requested the services shall not be affected by the provisions of this section.

              SECTION 3: The effective date of this act shall be the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

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