12C — November 8 - 21, 2013 — New Jersey — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


C entral N ew J ersey

A-3694 has been referred to the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee Greenwald: Good Samaritan Law needed to improve response to the next Superstorm Sandy

RENTON, NJ —Joined by professional experts the day before the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall in New Jersey, Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D- Camden/Burlington) called for Good Samaritan legislation to improve the state’s ability to respond to large-scale natural disasters. Modeled after suc- cessful approaches used in 26 other states, A-3694 would bol- ster safety inspection capacity in the aftermath of disasters like Sandy, the scale of which can easily overwhelm local T

enacting a Good Samaritan law, we will promote public safety while greatly strengthening our state’s ability to effectively respond to disasters.” According to a 2013 article in Crain’s New York Business, nearly 400 architects stood ready to use their professional expertise to assist in assess- ing storm-damaged properties in New York City days after Superstorm Sandy hit. But the specter of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in potential lawsuit liability deterred the vast majority from volunteer- ing their assistance, leaving local officials overwhelmed by the scale of the task. Without a Good Samaritan law, New Jer- sey faces a similar problem. In contrast, Alabama’s Good Samaritan law, enacted in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, was crucial in the aftermath of devastating tornadoes that killed 64 people and caused $2.2 billion in damage in April 2011. In response to the devas- tating category EF-4 tornado, over 200 professionals volun- teered nearly 1,300 hours in Tuscaloosa alone, inspecting over 7,000 buildings for safe- ty—critical assistance given the municipality’s limited staff resources. To protect property owners, licensed professionals would be shielded from liability only after meetingA-3694’s rigorous legal standards. To qualify for immunity, licensed architects or Professional Engineers must provide professional services: Voluntarily and without com- pensation; At the request of a federal, state or local public safety official acting in his or her official capacity; At the scene of a declared na- tional, state or local emergency caused by a major hurricane, earthquake, tornado, fire, ex- plosion, collapse or similar disaster; During a limited period of time after the disaster (90 days following the emergency, with extensions permitted by gubernatorial executive order under the Governor’s emer- gency powers) Under the bill, licensed archi- tects or Professional Engineers would remain liable for the full extent of damages caused by their own acts or omissions that are wanton, willful or grossly negligent. A-3694 has been referred to theAssembly Regulated Profes- sions Committee. n

they volunteer their services in response to major natural disasters. Without such protec- tion, many of these profession- als are deterred from volunteer- ing their professional aid in times of critical need—unduly restricting the ability to quickly and effectively provide safety inspections after a large-scale disaster. “When our communities are in crisis after a natural disaster, they need all the help they can get,” said Greenwald. “Yet the potential for massive lawsuits keeps these critically needed volunteers on the sidelines. By

governments. “Whether it is tornadoes in Alabama, earthquakes in California or hurricanes in New Jersey, Good Samaritan laws are critical in ensuring a safe, effective and speedy response to major natural disasters,” said Greenwald. “By passing

a Good Samaritan law in New Jersey, we will better prepare our state to respond rapidly and efficiently to the next Su- perstorm Sandy.” Greenwald’s legislation, A- 3694, would shield licensed architects and professional engineers from liability when

59 Hook Road Port Bayonne, NJ 5 Empire B ulevar

South Hackensack

Meadows 5 Empire – 136,000 SF

Property Details: • 179,964 sf on 7 acres • Office: 15,000 SF to suit • 22’ Ceiling Height • 35’ x 40’ Bays • 180 Car Parking

• NJ Transit to NYC Buses at corner • 8 Docks, 1x14’ DI Door • Energy Efficient T-5 Lights with sensors • Minutes to I-95 and 80, Routes 3,46, 17 and 1&9, NJ Ports NYC – Bridges and Tunnels

Jeffrey M. Miller Senior Vice President Office: 973.475.7068 Cell: 201.707.4024 Jeffrey.miller@lee-associates.com Exclusive Broker:

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