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SB-332 Civil liability: prescribed burning operations: gross negligence.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/08/2021 09:00 PM
SB332:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 332


Introduced by Senator Dodd
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Wood)

February 08, 2021


An act to add Section 3333.8 to the Civil Code, relating to civil liability.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 332, as introduced, Dodd. Civil liability: prescribed burning operations: gross negligence.
Existing law authorizes the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection to enter into an agreement, including a grant agreement, for prescribed burning or other hazardous fuel reduction efforts with any person for specified purposes. Existing law requires the agreement to designate an officer of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection or a certified burn boss as the burn boss with final authority regarding the prescribed burning operation and to specify the duties of, and the precautions taken by, the person contracting with the department and any personnel furnished by that person. Existing law requires the State Fire Marshal, with the involvement of the Statewide Training and Education Advisory Committee, to develop a curriculum for a certification program for burn bosses.
This bill would provide that a certified burn boss and a private landowner upon whose property a certified burn boss performs, supervises, or oversees a prescribed burn are not liable for damage or injury to property or persons that is caused by a prescribed burn authorized by law unless the prescribed burn was conducted in a grossly negligent manner.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 3333.8 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

3333.8.
 Notwithstanding Sections 13007 to 13009.1, inclusive, of the Health and Safety Code and Section 4494 of the Public Resources Code, the following persons shall not be liable for any damage or injury to property or persons that is caused by a prescribed burn that is authorized pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 4411) or Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 4461) of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code unless the prescribed burn was conducted in a grossly negligent manner:
(a) A person certified as a burn boss pursuant to Section 4477 of the Public Resources Code.
(b) A private landowner upon whose property a person certified as a burn boss pursuant to Section 4477 of the Public Resources Code performs, supervises, or oversees a prescribed burn.