"Good Samaritan" law proposed to prevent lawsuits against churches in emergencies

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Updated: 1/10 11:45 am Published: 1/10 11:44 am

State Rep. Bobby Cleveland filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session written to protect churches that help individuals during emergencies from lawsuits.

House Bill 2325, also known as the “Good Samaritan Law,” would amend current state law to provide that persons or organizations that provide shelter to others “in preparation for, anticipation of, or during a time of emergency” would not be liable for injuries caused by the person or organization providing shelter.

Cleveland said the measure gives churches more incentive to open their doors to victims of storms and other catastrophes.

“Most churches will open their doors to anyone who needs assistance, but there are some churches that, rightly so, are hesitant to provide shelter to storm victims because of the litigious society that we live in,” said Rep. Cleveland, R-Slaughterville. “It’s unfortunate that we have to pass a law to protect those churches from lawsuits, but we have experienced situations here in Oklahoma where hundreds of people have needed shelter after their homes were destroyed. This legislation will provide the cover our churches need to help those who need it most during a disaster.”

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