2004 Florida Statutes
Cardiac Arrest Survival Act; immunity from civil liability.
(1) This section may be cited as the "Cardiac Arrest Survival Act."
(2) As used in this section:
(a) "Perceived medical emergency" means circumstances in which the behavior of an individual leads a reasonable person to believe that the individual is experiencing a life-threatening medical condition that requires an immediate medical response regarding the heart or other cardiopulmonary functioning of the individual.
(b) "Automated external defibrillator device" means a defibrillator device that:
1. Is commercially distributed in accordance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
2. Is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation, and is capable of determining without intervention by the user of the device whether defibrillation should be performed.
3. Upon determining that defibrillation should be performed, is able to deliver an electrical shock to an individual.
(c) "Harm" means damage or loss of any and all types, including, but not limited to, physical, nonphysical, economic, noneconomic, actual, compensatory, consequential, incidental, and punitive damages or losses.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, and except as provided in subsection (4), any person who uses or attempts to use an automated external defibrillator device on a victim of a perceived medical emergency, without objection of the victim of the perceived medical emergency, is immune from civil liability for any harm resulting from the use or attempted use of such device. In addition, any person who acquired the device, including, but not limited to, a community association organized under chapter 617, chapter 718, chapter 719, chapter 720, chapter 721, or chapter 723, is immune from such liability, if the harm was not due to the failure of such acquirer of the device to:
(a) Notify the local emergency medical services medical director of the most recent placement of the device within a reasonable period of time after the device was placed;
(b) Properly maintain and test the device; or
(c) Provide appropriate training in the use of the device to an employee or agent of the acquirer when the employee or agent was the person who used the device on the victim, except that such requirement of training does not apply if:
1. The employee or agent was not an employee or agent who would have been reasonably expected to use the device; or
2. The period of time elapsing between the engagement of the person as an employee or agent and the occurrence of the harm, or between the acquisition of the device and the occurrence of the harm in any case in which the device was acquired after engagement of the employee or agent, was not a reasonably sufficient period in which to provide the training.
(4) Immunity under subsection (3) does not apply to a person if:
(a) The harm involved was caused by that person's willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless disregard or misconduct, or a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the victim who was harmed;
(b) The person is a licensed or certified health professional who used the automated external defibrillator device while acting within the scope of the license or certification of the professional and within the scope of the employment or agency of the professional;
(c) The person is a hospital, clinic, or other entity whose primary purpose is providing health care directly to patients, and the harm was caused by an employee or agent of the entity who used the device while acting within the scope of the employment or agency of the employee or agent;
(d) The person is an acquirer of the device who leased the device to a health care entity, or who otherwise provided the device to such entity for compensation without selling the device to the entity, and the harm was caused by an employee or agent of the entity who used the device while acting within the scope of the employment or agency of the employee or agent; or
(e) The person is the manufacturer of the device.
(5) This section does not establish any cause of action. This section does not require that an automated external defibrillator device be placed at any building or other location or require an acquirer to make available on its premises one or more employees or agents trained in the use of the device.
(6) An insurer may not require an acquirer of an automated external defibrillator device which is a community association organized under chapter 617, chapter 718, chapter 719, chapter 720, chapter 721, or chapter 723 to purchase medical malpractice liability coverage as a condition of issuing any other coverage carried by the association, and an insurer may not exclude damages resulting from the use of an automated external defibrillator device from coverage under a general liability policy issued to an association.
History.--s. 1, ch. 2001-76; s. 3, ch. 2004-345; s. 3, ch. 2004-353.
1Note.--Section 4, ch. 2001-76, provides that:
"No later than January 1, 2003, the Secretary of the Department of Health shall adopt rules to establish guidelines on the appropriate placement of automated external defibrillator devices in buildings or portions of buildings owned or leased by the state, and shall establish, by rule, recommendations on procedures for the deployment of automated external defibrillator devices in such buildings in accordance with the guidelines. The Secretary of the Department of Management Services shall assist the Secretary of the Department of Health in the development of the guidelines. The guidelines for the placement of the automated external defibrillators shall take into account the typical number of employees and visitors in the buildings, the extent of the need for security measures regarding the buildings, special circumstances in buildings or portions of buildings such as high electrical voltages or extreme heat or cold, and such other factors as the Secretaries determine to be appropriate. The Secretary of the Department of Health's recommendations for deployment of automated external defibrillators in buildings or portions of buildings owned or leased by the state shall include:
"(a) A reference list of appropriate training courses in the use of such devices, including the role of cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
"(b) The extent to which such devices may be used by laypersons;
"(c) Manufacturer recommended maintenance and testing of the devices; and
"(d) Coordination with local emergency medical services systems regarding the incidents of use of the devices.
"In formulating these guidelines and recommendations, the Secretary may consult with all appropriate public and private entities, including national and local public health organizations that seek to improve the survival rates of individuals who experience cardiac arrest."