For immediate release:
Feb. 23, 2015
INDIANAPOLIS - Legislation authored by State Rep. Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) granting civil immunity for damages caused rescuing a child was approved today by members of the Indiana House of Representatives.
House Bill 1161 prohibits civil damage liability resulting from forcible entry of a motor vehicle while rescuing a child. The bill specifies the rescued child must be under 18 years old and lacking the capacity to independently exit the vehicle.
“If a child is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed, a potential rescuer should not have to pay for damages associated with saving that child’s life,” said GiaQuinta. “We should all hope an honorable citizen would step up to protect that child. I strongly believe Good Samaritans displaying heroic acts of random kindness deserve to be exempt from civil liability.”
Law enforcement or the fire department must be contacted before an individual forcefully enters a vehicle. Civil immunity is not granted if the vehicular damages result from willful misconduct or gross negligence.
GiaQuinta collaborated with State Reps. Gregory Steuerwald (R-Danville), Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary, and Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), who co-authored the legislation. House members unanimously passed the bill 96-0, which now moves to the Indiana Senate for additional legislative action.