Governor John Kasich signed AIA Ohio’s “Good Samaritan” bill into law on Valentines Day, 2016. The new law grants qualified immunity from civil liability to a volunteer architect for any acts, errors, or omissions conducted in the performance of professional services that are requested by government officials, for a building, structure, piping, or other engineered system during a declared emergency and 90 days thereafter. No immunity is granted from wanton, willful or intentional misconduct.
Passage of the bill comes following a three year effort. Rep. Louis Blessing III (R-Cincinnati) introduced the bill three years ago during the last General Assembly as HB 379. That bill cleared the House and the Senate Committee, but failed to achieve a Senate vote prior to the end of the legislative Session. Rep. Blessing re-introduced the bill as HB 17 at the beginning of the current General Assembly.
HB 17 passed the Ohio House unanimously last February and the Senate January 20 with only Senator, Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood), voting against it.
AIA Ohio thanks all those who helped lobby for the passage of this bill… especially past AIA Ohio President, Elizabeth Murphy, FAIA, who testified on behalf of the bill on several occasions!