State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_90 > GS_90-21_16

§ 90‑21.16.  Volunteerhealth care professionals; liability limitation.

(a)        This sectionapplies as follows:

(1)        Any volunteermedical or health care provider at a facility of a local health department orat a nonprofit community health center,

(2)        Any volunteermedical or health care provider rendering services to a patient referred by alocal health department as defined in G.S. 130A‑2(5) or nonprofitcommunity health center at the provider's place of employment,

(3)        Any volunteermedical or health care provider serving as medical director of an emergencymedical services (EMS) agency,

(4)        Any retiredphysician holding a "Limited Volunteer License" under G.S. 90‑12.1A,or

(5)        Any volunteermedical or health care provider licensed or certified in this State whoprovides services within the scope of the provider's license or certificationat a free clinic facility,

who receives no compensation formedical services or other related services rendered at the facility, center,agency, or clinic, or who neither charges nor receives a fee for medicalservices rendered to the patient referred by a local health department ornonprofit community health center at the provider's place of employment shallnot be liable for damages for injuries or death alleged to have occurred byreason of an act or omission in the rendering of the services unless it isestablished that the injuries or death were caused by gross negligence, wantonconduct, or intentional wrongdoing on the part of the person rendering theservices. The free clinic, local health department facility, nonprofitcommunity health center, or agency shall use due care in the selection ofvolunteer medical or health care providers, and this subsection shall notexcuse the free clinic, health department facility, community health center, oragency for the failure of the volunteer medical or health care provider to useordinary care in the provision of medical services to its patients.

(b)        Nothing in thissection shall be deemed or construed to relieve any person from liability fordamages for injury or death caused by an act or omission on the part of suchperson while rendering health care services in the normal and ordinary courseof his or her business or profession. Services provided by a medical or healthcare provider who receives no compensation for his or her services and whovoluntarily renders such services at facilities of free clinics, local healthdepartments as defined in G.S. 130A‑2, nonprofit community healthcenters, or as a volunteer medical director of an emergency medical services(EMS) agency, are deemed not to be in the normal and ordinary course of thevolunteer medical or health care provider's business or profession.

(c)        As used in thissection, a "free clinic" is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax‑exemptorganization organized for the purpose of providing health care serviceswithout charge or for a minimum fee to cover administrative costs and thatmaintains liability insurance covering the acts and omissions of the freeclinic and any liability pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(d)        A nonprofitcommunity health referral service that refers low‑income patients tophysicians for free services is not liable for the acts or omissions of thephysician in rendering service to that patient if the physician maintainsprofessional liability coverage for that service.

(e)        As used in thissection, a "nonprofit community health referral service" is anonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax‑exempt organization organized to provide for nocharge the referral of low‑income, uninsured patients to volunteer healthcare providers who provide health care services without charge to patients.  (1991, c. 655, s. 1,; 1993,c. 439, s. 1; 1995, c. 85, s. 1; 2000‑5, s. 4; 2001‑230, ss. 1(a),1(b); 2009‑435, s. 1.)