Liability and Immunity in Public Health Emergencies

Legal & Ethical
Online Course
30 minutes
Texas A&M University
Training and Education Collaborative PERLC

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As an emergency responder, one may become exposed to legal liability caused by their participation in emergency response activities. These responders can be either employees or volunteers, and can encounter either liability or immunity. The distinction and understanding of circumstances warranting liability and immunity is crucial for emergency responders to understand. Unfortunately, an unclear understanding of legal consequences that can occur in emergency response may deter individuals from participating in response activities. For this reason, public health emergency responders must be equipped with the knowledge of state and federal laws providing for their immunity or liability.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Define liability within the context of public health
  • Explain and identify types of immunity
  • Identify both federal and state laws (differentiate between)
  • Interpret circumstances in which public health workers are protected