Congressmen Dave Reichert (WA-08) and Jim Matheson (UT-02) today introduced H.R. 1145, legislation that would provide construction workers, contractors, engineers and architects with qualified immunity when they respond to a declared disaster or emergency.
"In the wake of disasters we have seen heart-rending images of suffering that always stay in our minds," Reichert said. "And it is in the aftermath of disaster that construction workers step in to voluntarily provide vital services to people affected by crisis. The expertise, equipment, and knowledge they bring to these situations are critically important. These good samaritans who respond quickly and give of their time and resources to help our country and their fellow citizens provide important support for rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts. When those construction workers, contractors, architects and engineers step forward to help, they shouldn't hesitate out of a fear of lawsuits. Our country must stand united in times of crisis, and this bill will allow those who want to help their neighbors to do that."
"Americans who rush to deliver disaster aid should not be slowed by worries over being sued. It's often a life or death situation and volunteers tip the scales in favor of survival," said Matheson.