Part 7. Immunity and Liability.

166A-19.60. Immunity and exemption.

(a) Generally. - All functions hereunder and all other activities relating to emergency management as provided for in this Chapter or elsewhere in the General Statutes are hereby declared to be governmental functions. Neither the State nor any political subdivision thereof, nor, except in cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence, or bad faith, any emergency management worker, firm, partnership, association, or corporation complying with or reasonably attempting to comply with this Article or any order, rule, or regulation promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this Article or pursuant to any ordinance relating to any emergency management measures enacted by any political subdivision of the State, shall be liable for the death of or injury to persons, or for damage to property as a result of any such activity.

(b) Immunity. - The immunity provided to firms, partnerships, associations, or corporations, under subsection (a) of this section, is subject to all of the following conditions:

(1) The immunity applies only when the firm, partnership, association, or corporation is acting without compensation or with compensation limited to no more than actual expenses and one of the following applies:

a. Emergency management services are provided at any place in this State during a state of emergency declared by the Governor or General Assembly pursuant to this Article, and the services are provided under the direction and control of the Secretary pursuant to G.S. 166A-19.10, 166A-19.11, 166A-19.12, 166A-19.20, 166A-19.30, and 143B-602, or the Governor.

b. Emergency management services are provided during a state of emergency declared pursuant to G.S. 166A-19.22, and the services are provided under the direction and control of the governing body of a municipality or county under G.S. 166A-19.31, or the chair of a board of county commissioners under G.S. 166A-19.22(b)(3).

c. The firm, partnership, association, or corporation is engaged in planning, preparation, training, or exercises with the Division, the Division of Public Health, or the governing body of each county or municipality under G.S. 166A-19.15 related to the performance of emergency management services or measures.

(2) The immunity shall not apply to any firm, partnership, association, or corporation, or to any employee or agent thereof, whose act or omission caused in whole or in part the actual or imminent emergency or whose act or omission necessitated emergency management measures.

(3) To the extent that any firm, partnership, association, or corporation has liability insurance, that firm, partnership, association, or corporation shall be deemed to have waived the immunity to the extent of the indemnification by insurance for its negligence. An insurer shall not under a contract of insurance exclude from liability coverage the acts or omissions of a firm, partnership, association, or corporation for which the firm, partnership, association, or corporation would only be liable to the extent indemnified by insurance as provided by this subdivision.

(c) No Effect on Benefits. - The rights of any person to receive benefits to which the person would otherwise be entitled under this Article or under the Workers' Compensation Law or under any pension law and the right of any such person to receive any benefits or compensation under any act of Congress shall not be affected by performance of emergency management functions.

(d) License Requirements Suspended. - Any requirement for a license to practice any professional, mechanical, or other skill shall not apply to any authorized emergency management worker who shall, in the course of performing the worker's duties as such, practice such professional, mechanical, or other skill during a state of emergency.

(e) Definition of Emergency Management Worker. - As used in this section, the term "emergency management worker" shall include any full or part-time paid, volunteer, or auxiliary employee of this State or other states, territories, possessions, or the District of Columbia, of the federal government or any neighboring country or of any political subdivision thereof, or of any agency or organization performing emergency management services at any place in this State, subject to the order or control of or pursuant to a request of the State government or any political subdivision thereof. The term "emergency management worker" under this section shall also include any health care worker performing health care services as a member of a hospital-based or county-based State Medical Assistance Team designated by the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services and any person performing emergency health care services under G.S. 90-12.2.

(f) Powers of Individuals Operating Pursuant to Mutual Aid Agreements. - Any emergency management worker, as defined in this section, performing emergency management services at any place in this State pursuant to agreements, compacts, or arrangements for mutual aid and assistance to which the State or a political subdivision thereof is a party, shall possess the same powers, duties, immunities, and privileges the person would ordinarily possess if performing duties in the State, or political subdivision thereof, in which normally employed or rendering services. (1957, c. 950, s. 4; 1975, c. 734, s. 14; 1977, c. 848, s. 2; 1979, c. 714, s. 2; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1310, s. 2; 1995, c. 509, ss. 130, 131; 2002-179, s. 20(b); 2006-81, s. 1; 2008-200, s. 1; 2009-146, s. 2; 2011-145, s. 19.1(g), (hhh); 2012-12, s. 1(b).)