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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 4, 2019 01:33 PM
From: Representative Karen Boback
To: All House members
Subject: Volunteer-in-Public Services Negligence Standard
In the near future I plan to reintroduce legislation (formerly HB 2056) that would limit the liability of charitable organizations in Pennsylvania to situations where the organization actually authorized the volunteer’s conduct which led to the harm. This legislation was developed as a result of discussion with a constituent who explained to me that while volunteers may enjoy immunity from negligence lawsuits for their charitable activities, the charitable organizations for which they volunteer may still be sued for the very same acts.

With dwindling federal and state resources, charitable organizations have seen an explosion in demand for their services in recent years. As charitable giving has also declined, it is increasingly important for charitable organizations to rely on volunteers to accomplish their mission. The protection afforded under the bill would limit the financial risk and liability to charitable organizations resulting from the acts of individual volunteers. This bill would apply to many nonprofit organizations, including such esteemed service groups such as Lions Clubs International, Rotary International, Kiwanis, and other groups. I believe the bill will increase the vitality such important charitable organizations.

With any service to the public, safety is of the utmost importance. However, to encourage volunteerism, this bill will protect our charitable organizations from overreaching lawsuits based on unauthorized conduct of their volunteers.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring legislation.

Introduced as HB490