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A Good Samaritan Law is generally defined as one that limits the liability of licensed doctors and nurses who voluntarily render care at the scene of an accident. In Arizona, there are also laws that limit the liability of physicians who volunteer at amateur athletic events, and of people who donate and distrib­ute food items and grocery products to those in need. This explains the liability exemptions that are given to Ari­zona’s Good Samaritans and volunteers under those laws.

Emergency Care

Any licensed health care provider, ambulance attendant, driver, pilot, or any other person who, gratuitously and in good faith, renders emergency care at a public gathering or at the scene of an emergency occurrence is not liable for ordinary negligence. A health care provider or other person rendering emergency aid is, however, still liable for gross negligence.2

A licensed or certified health care provider who gratu­itously and in good faith renders emergency health care within his scope of practice, to an athlete injured during an amateur athletic practice or event, is not liable for ordinary negligence. The health care provider is still liable for gross negligence, however. This law applies to health care providers who agree to voluntarily attend amateur athletic practices, contests and events to be available to render emergency health care.

Food and Grocery Products

A person who makes a good faith donation of a food item or a nonfood grocery product to a charitable or nonprofit orga­nization is not liable for damages for injury or death due to the condition of the donated food item or grocery product.

The food item must appear to be intended for human con­sumption and meet all applicable quality and labeling stan­dards. The nonfood grocery product must appear to meet all applicable quality and labeling standards.

If the food item or nonfood grocery item does not comply with all quality and labeling standards imposed by law, the donor must so inform the charitable or nonprofit organization, and the organization must agree to recondition the donation to comply with those standards before its distribution.

A donor of a food item or grocery product who complies with these rules is liable for damages only if the injury or death is a direct result of his intentional misconduct or gross negligence. Similar exemptions apply to charitable and non­profit organizations, and their employees and volunteers who in good faith receive and distribute without charge the donated food items and nonfood grocery products.

The above article is an excerpt from Arizona Laws 101: A Handbook for Non-Lawyers, 2nd Edition (Fenestra Books, 2012), by Donald A. Loose, republished with the author’s permission. 

Disclaimer: Laws change constantly. Specific legal advice should be obtained regarding any legal matter. The information contained on this website does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created. 

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Don Loose Author
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Donald A. Loose is an Arizona attorney, and the author of Arizona Laws 101: A Handbook for Non-Lawyers, and Estate Planning in Arizona: What You Need to Know.  Mr. Loose is a regular guest on radio shows featuring local newsmaker interviews. He may be contacted at don@looselawgroup.com.