Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 3A. Limitation of Healthcare Provider Liability Related to COVID-19 Treatment.


§ 7–311. Healthcare provider liability.

*NOTE: This section was created by temporary legislation that will expire on April 1, 2021.*

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of District law:

(1) A healthcare provider, first responder, or volunteer who renders care or treatment to a potential, suspected, or diagnosed individual with COVID-19 shall be exempt from liability in a civil action for damages resulting from such care or treatment of COVID-19, or from any act or failure to act in providing or arranging medical treatment for COVID-19;

(2) A donor of time, professional services, equipment, or supplies for the benefit of persons or entities providing care or treatment for COVID-19 to a suspected or diagnosed individual with COVID-19, or care for the family members of such individuals for damages resulting from such donation shall be exempt from liability in a civil action; and

(3) A contractor or subcontractor on a District government contract that has been contracted to provide either health care services or human care services, consistent with § 2-351.04(37), related to the District government's COVID-19 response shall be exempt from liability in a civil action.

(b) The limitations on liability provided for by subsection (a) of this section shall apply to any healthcare provider, first responder, volunteer, donor, or District government contractor or subcontractor of a District government contractor ("provider"), including a party involved in the healthcare process at the request of a health-care facility or the District government and acting within the scope of the provider's employment or organization's purpose, contractual or voluntary service, or donation, even if outside the provider's professional scope of practice, state of licensure, or with an expired license, who:

(1) Prescribes or dispenses medicines for off-label use to attempt to combat the COVID-19 virus, in accordance with the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2017, approved May 30, 2018 (Pub. L. No. 115-176; 132 Stat. 1372).

(2) Provides direct or ancillary health-care services or health care products, including direct patient care, testing, equipment or supplies, consultations, triage services, resource teams, nutrition services, or physical, mental, and behavioral therapies; or

(3) Utilizes equipment or supplies outside of the product's normal use for medical practice and the provision of health-care services to combat the COVID-19 virus;

(c) The limitations on civil liability provided for by subsection (a) of this section shall not extend to:

(1) Acts or omissions that constitute actual fraud, actual malice, recklessness, breach of contract, gross negligence, or willful misconduct; or

(2) Acts or omissions unrelated to direct patient care; provided, that a contractor or subcontractor shall not be liable for damages for any act or omission alleged to have caused an individual to contract COVID-19.

(d) The limitations on liability provided for by subsection (a) of this section extend to acts, omissions, and donations performed or made during a period of time for which the Mayor has declared a public health emergency pursuant to § 7-2304.01, and to damages that ensue at any time from acts, omissions, and donations made during the public health emergency.

(e) A healthcare provider, first responder, or volunteer who renders care or treatment to a potential, suspected, or diagnosed individual with COVID-19 shall be exempt from criminal prosecution for any act or failure to act in providing or arranging medical treatment for COVID-19 during a public health emergency, if such action is made in good faith.

(f) The limitations on liability provided for by this section do not limit the applicability of other limitations on liability, including qualified and absolute immunity, that may otherwise apply to a person covered by this section.

(g) For the purposes of this section, the term "COVID-19" means the disease caused by the novel 2019 coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.


(Oct. 9, 2020, D.C. Law 23-130, § 707, 67 DCR 8622.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 707 of Coronavirus Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-405, Aug. 19, 2020, 67 DCR 10235).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) creation of this section, see § 707 of Coronavirus Support Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 [Effective from October 9, 2020] (D.C. Law 23-130, Oct. 9, 2020, 67 DCR 8622).