SENATE HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND SENIOR CITIZENS COMMITTEE
ASSEMBLY, No. 4486
with committee amendments
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: SEPTEMBER 10, 2019
The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee reports favorably and with committee amendments Assembly Bill No. 4486.
As amended by the committee, this bill would require every hotel in the State that is not a bed and breakfast to provide an automated external defibrillator (AED) in each lobby, meeting room, banquet hall, and fitness center, as well as on every other residential floor. Bed and breakfasts will be required to provide an AED in each separate building or structure on the premises of the bed and breakfast that is used by, or accessible to, guests.
The bill defines hotel as a building or related structure that contains 10 or more units of dwelling space or has sleeping facilities for 25 or more people that is held out to be a hotel, motor hotel, inn, motel, or established guesthouse that is commonly regarded as such in the community where it is located. The term will not include multiple dwellings or rooming or boarding houses.
In addition to acquiring and maintaining AEDs in the required locations, described above, the hotel will be required to:
– store and maintain each defibrillator in a central, unlocked location that is known and accessible to employees;
– ensure that the defibrillator is tested and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s operational guidelines;
– provide notification to the appropriate first aid, ambulance, or rescue squad, or other appropriate emergency medical services provider, regarding the acquisition of the defibrillator’s, the type, and the locations within the hotel;
– mark the location of each defibrillator with a prominent sign;
– arrange and pay for the training of employees and volunteers in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and defibrillator use;
– ensure, during the hours when a public or private event or activity is taking place at the hotel, that at least one employee or volunteer who has current certifications from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or other training program recognized by the Department of Health, in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator, is on-site and available to respond to any cardiac event; and
– ensure that an employee requests emergency medical assistance from the appropriate first aid, ambulance, or rescue squad as soon as practicable after a defibrillator is used in response to a cardiac event.
Hotels will be required to meet these requirements within one year after the effective date of the bill.
An owner or operator of a hotel that violates the provisions of the bill will be liable to a civil penalty of $1,000 for a first violation, $2,000 for a second violation, and $4,000 for a third or subsequent violation. A hotel owner or operator will also be liable to an additional civil penalty of $1,000 for each defibrillator that is not maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s operational guidelines.
The bill provides that the owner or operator of a hotel and its employees and volunteers are immune from civil liability in association with the acquisition and use of a defibrillator. The owner or operator of a hotel and its employees and volunteers are also immune from civil or criminal liability resulting from the malfunctioning of a defibrillator, if it has been maintained and tested in accordance with the manufacturer’s operational guidelines.
In order to ensure that a person suffering a cardiac event while on-site at a hotel will receive timely emergency medical treatment and have the highest chance of survival, it is in the best interests of the residents of this State to require all hotels to provide a defibrillator in each lobby, meeting room, banquet hall, and fitness center.
As reported by the committee with committee amendments, Assembly Bill No. 4486 is identical to Senate Bill No. 3024 which was also reported by the committee on this date with amendments.
The committee amendments add a definition for bed and breakfast, and clarify that the definition of hotel includes bed and breakfasts, motor hotels, and established guesthouses, but does not include rooming or boarding houses or multiple dwelling units.
The committee amendments establish a separate set of requirements for where defibrillators are to be located in a bed and breakfast as compared with other types of hotels.
The committee amendments revise the civil penalties for a violation of the provisions of the bill from $250 to $1,000 for a first offense, from $500 to $2,000 for a second offense, and from $1,000 to $4,000 for a third or subsequent offense. The amendments also add a new civil penalty of $1,000 for failure to maintain a defibrillator in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. The amendments provide that the civil penalty will be assessed against the owner or operator of the hotel, rather than against “any person” who commits a violation of the provisions of the bill.
The committee amendments also make a technical correction to the bill.