Frequently Asked Questions
If a CERT volunteer is involved in a liability lawsuit, will James City County (JCC) provide representation or assume financial liability? JCC will provide legal representation. Financial liability is addressed by the Code of Virginia, which states that CERT volunteers, acting in accordance with standards and guidelines, have sovereign immunity from financial liability.
If there is a decision to settle a claim prior to adjudication would there be any financial liability to the CERT volunteer? The Code of Virginia, §44-146.23, provides CERT volunteers acting in accordance with standards and guidelines, are exempt from liability.
What does Virginia law say about exemption from liability? §44-146.23 of the Code of Virginia, states: Neither the Commonwealth, nor any political subdivision thereof, nor federal agencies, nor other public or private agencies, nor, except in cases of willful misconduct, public or private employees, nor representatives of any of them, engaged in any emergency services activities, while complying with or attempting to comply with this chapter or any rule, regulation, or executive order promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be liable for the death of, or any injury to, persons or damage to property as a result of such activities. The provisions of this section shall not affect the right of any person to receive benefits to which he would otherwise be entitled under this chapter, or under the Workers’ Compensation Act (§65.2-100 et seq.), or under any pension law, nor the right of any such person to receive any benefits or compensation under any act of Congress. For the purposes of the immunity conferred by this subsection, representatives of public or private employees shall include, but shall not be limited to, volunteers in state and local services who are persons who serve in a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) unit or on a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Can a CERT volunteer be sued? Yes. Anyone can be sued anytime, for any reason.
If I am injured while taking training or while performing CERT duties, will JCC cover my medical expenses? CERT volunteers, while acting under the auspices of JCC Emergency Services and within the scope of their training, are covered by the Code of Virginia and by James City County. This includes liability protection under the laws of the Commonwealth (§44-146.23 of the Code of Virginia specifically addresses the CERT volunteer’s immunity from liability). A current copy of this law will be provided to you. While acting under the auspices o fJCC Emergency Management and within the scope of their training, CERT volunteers are eligible for legal representation if sued. JCC provides supplemental accident medical coverage for CERT volunteers. In the event a CERT volunteer is injured while performing duties as a volunteer, accidental medical coverage is provided in excess to any other medical coverage the volunteer may have. The current limit of this excess medical coverage is $25,000.
Can you give me some examples of exceeding CERT training? Performing any skill or activity that you were not taught or is not covered in the CERT CD given to you during class. Performing CPR or chain saw use are examples of non-CERT activities.