|Passed by the House April 20, 2009|
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Passed by the Senate April 2, 2009
President of the Senate
I, Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is ENGROSSED HOUSE BILL 1824 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.
Governor of the State of Washington
Secretary of State
State of Washington
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2009 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/30/09. Referred to Committee on Education.
AN ACT Relating to requiring the adoption of policies for the management of concussion and head injury in youth sports; amending RCW 4.24.660; and adding a new section to chapter 28A.600 RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1 RCW 4.24.660 and 1999 c 316 s 3 are each amended to read
(1) A school district shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a person due to action or inaction of persons employed by, or under contract with, a youth program if:
(a) The action or inaction takes place on school property and during the delivery of services of the youth program;
(b) The private nonprofit group provides proof of being insured, under an accident and liability policy issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state, that covers any injury or damage arising from delivery of its services. Coverage for a policy meeting the requirements of this section must be at least fifty thousand dollars due to bodily injury or death of one person, or at least one hundred thousand dollars due to bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any incident. The private nonprofit shall also provide a statement of compliance with the policies for the management of concussion and head injury in youth sports as set forth in section 2 of this act; and
(c) The group provides proof of such insurance before the first use of the school facilities. The immunity granted shall last only as long as the insurance remains in effect.
(2) Immunity under this section does not apply to any school district before January 1, 2000.
(3) As used in this section, "youth programs" means any program or service, offered by a private nonprofit group, that is operated primarily to provide persons under the age of eighteen with opportunities to participate in services or programs.
(4) This section does not impair or change the ability of any person to recover damages for harm done by: (a) Any contractor or employee of a school district acting in his or her capacity as a contractor or employee; or (b) the existence of unsafe facilities or structures or programs of any school district.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2 A new section is added to chapter 28A.600
RCW to read as follows:
(1)(a) Concussions are one of the most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities. The centers for disease control and prevention estimates that as many as three million nine hundred thousand sports-related and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. A concussion is caused by a blow or motion to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. The risk of catastrophic injuries or death are significant when a concussion or head injury is not properly evaluated and managed.
(b) Concussions are a type of brain injury that can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Concussions can occur in any organized or unorganized sport or recreational activity and can result from a fall or from players colliding with each other, the ground, or with obstacles. Concussions occur with or without loss of consciousness, but the vast majority occurs without loss of consciousness.
(c) Continuing to play with a concussion or symptoms of head injury leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury and even death. The legislature recognizes that, despite having generally recognized return to play standards for concussion and head injury, some affected youth athletes are prematurely returned to play resulting in actual or potential physical injury or death to youth athletes in the state of Washington.
(2) Each school district's board of directors shall work in concert with the Washington interscholastic activities association to develop the guidelines and other pertinent information and forms to inform and educate coaches, youth athletes, and their parents and/or guardians of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury including continuing to play after concussion or head injury. On a yearly basis, a concussion and head injury information sheet shall be signed and returned by the youth athlete and the athlete's parent and/or guardian prior to the youth athlete's initiating practice or competition.
(3) A youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time.
(4) A youth athlete who has been removed from play may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and receives written clearance to return to play from that health care provider. The health care provider may be a volunteer. A volunteer who authorizes a youth athlete to return to play is not liable for civil damages resulting from any act or omission in the rendering of such care, other than acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
(5) This section may be known and cited as the Zackery Lystedt law.