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Liability Protection for Dispatching available under Health and Safety Code §1799.107

The California Supreme Court held that that “section 1799.107 unambiguously applies to 911 emergency dispatching” on December 18, 2003.

The Court of Appeals had previously affirmed that, under Government Code section 815 and Health and Safety Code section 1799.107, the defendants were immune from liability except for bad faith or grossly negligent conduct, which plaintiffs admittedly cannot allege.

The California Tort Claims Act provides that “[a] public entity is not liable for an injury,” “[e]xcept as otherwise provided by statute.” (Gov. Code, § 815, subd. (a).)

In the Court’s view, the critical statute at issue was section 1799.107. This statute provides in pertinent part: “(a) [A] qualified immunity from liability shall be provided for public entities and emergency rescue personnel providing emergency services. [¶] (b) [N]either a public entity nor emergency rescue personnel shall be liable for any injury caused by an action taken by the emergency rescue personnel acting within the scope of their employment to provide emergency services, unless the action taken was performed in bad faith or in a grossly negligent manner.”

  • Eastburn v. Regional Fire Protection Authority [PDF] [Word]

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