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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

Wis. Stat. 895.4802

Summary Title

Liability: Providing Assistance or Advice During Hazardous Material Discharge

Summary

An individual who, in good faith and without compensation, provides assistance or advice regarding the mitigation, prevention, or cleanup of a discharge of hazardous material will not be held legally responsible, unless that individual acted with extreme carelessness, with intention to cause harm, or was responsible for the discharge.

Full Title

Civil liability exemption; hazardous materials

Full Text

(1) In this section: (a) “Discharge” has the meaning given under s. 292.01 (3). (b) “Hazardous substance” has the meaning given under s. 299.01 (6). (c) “Hazardous substance prediction” means any declaration or estimate of the likely spread or impact of an actual discharge of a hazardous substance that is based on meteorological, mathematical, computer or similar models. (d) “Hazardous substance predictor” means any person who makes a hazardous substance prediction pursuant to a contract or agreement with a public agency or pursuant to a contract or agreement with a person who possesses or controls hazardous substances for the purpose of assisting that person in supplying a public agency with a hazardous substance prediction in the event of an actual discharge of a hazardous substance. (2) Any person is immune from civil liability for his or her good faith acts or omissions related to assistance or advice which the person provides relating to an emergency or a potential emergency regarding either of the following: (a) Mitigating or attempting to mitigate the effects of an actual or threatened discharge of a hazardous substance. (b) Preventing or cleaning up or attempting to prevent or clean up an actual or threatened discharge of a hazardous substance. (3) The immunity under sub. (2) does not extend to any person: (a) Whose act or omission causes in whole or in part the actual or threatened discharge and who would otherwise be liable for the act or omission; (b) Who would be liable for the discharge under chs. 281 to 285 or 289 to 299 or any rule promulgated or permit or order issued under chs. 281 to 285 or 289 to 299; (c) Whose act or omission constitutes gross negligence or involves reckless, wanton or intentional misconduct; or (d) Who receives or expects to receive compensation, other than reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, for rendering the advice and assistance. (4) (a) Any hazardous substance predictor or any person who provides the technology to enable hazardous substance predictions to be made is immune from civil liability for his or her good faith acts or omissions in making that prediction or providing that technology. (b) The good faith of any hazardous substance predictor or any person who provides the technology to make a prediction is presumed in any civil action. Any person who asserts that the acts or omissions under par. (a) were not made in good faith has the burden of proving that assertion by clear and convincing evidence. (c) The immunity under par. (a) does not extend to any person described under sub. (3) (a), (b), or (c).