In PA there is a Good Samaritan stature that applies to bar civil liability for care rendered to someone for emergency care, first aid or rescue or being moved to a hospital or other place of medical care. However, it only applies if the person giving aid is, “at the time of rendering the emergency care, first aid or rescue or moving the person receiving emergency care, first aid or rescue to a hospital or other place of medical care, the holder of a current certificate evidencing the successful completion of a course in first aid, advanced life saving or basic life support sponsored by the American National Red Cross or the American Heart Association or an equivalent course of instruction approved by the Department of Health in consultation with a technical committee of the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council and … performing techniques and employing procedures consistent with the nature and level of the training for which the certificate has been issued.”
If the staff rendering services to residents do not have the notes certification, or are performing services outside of the certification, they are not covered by the law and might be subject to civil liability.
The fact that they receive tips irrelevant unless the tips are in lieu of compensation for services rendered and the services are to include helping in emergency and medical situations. In that case, they may be help to a higher standard of care anyway.
Sara A. Austin
Austin Law Firm LLC
226 E. Market St.
York, PA 17403
The “good Samaritan Law” in NYS is premised on aid given to a person in need of emergency medical care or treatment. It is found in Public Health Law 3000-a. It is for any person who voluntarily and without expectation of monetary compensation renders first aid or emergency treatment at the scene of an accident or other emergency outside a hospital, doctor’s office or any other place having proper and necessary medical equipment. It is a statute not really designed to shield from liability for helping others with common courtesy such as lifting grocery items.
Levine & Montana
1019 Park Street – P.O. Box 668
Peekskill, New York 10566
In New York, the Good Samaritan Law only covers persons from the unintended consequences of assistance they give to an injured person, e.g., who is overdosing or drunk. It is not intended to cover persons simply practicing routine courtesy or assistance. So in the examples you give, the employee would not be covered by the Good Samaritan Law (unless he was getting down the defibrillator for someone suffering a heart attack). However, arguably most employees’ job descriptions would impliedly include being helpful to the members, so arguably they would also be covered by the Association’s liability insurance. If a situation arose where such assistance were covered, though, a tip would not deprive the employee of the protection of the law.
Spolzino Smith Buss & Jacobs LLP
733 Yonkers Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10704
60 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10165