Measure provides civil immunity to school bus drivers who administer epi-pens
– The House of Representatives today unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) that would help to ensure the health and safety of Pennsylvania school students who suffer from severe allergic reactions. House Bill 423
now moves to the Senate for consideration.
“Our goal is to allow more children with allergies to receive this often life-saving emergency treatment,” said Simmons. “A group of mothers in my district brought the issue to my attention over the concern that their children would have an allergic reaction while on the school bus, threatening their lives. They believe it only makes sense for the bus driver to be able to treat the child immediately in order to prevent a serious medical problem, and I agree.”
Simmons’ proposal would provide civil immunity to school bus drivers who administer epinephrine auto-injectors, or epi-pens, to students who experience an allergic reaction while riding on a school bus. Under the legislation, a school bus driver must first complete a training program developed by the state Department of Health and comply with school district policy to be qualified to use the epi-pen.
Simmons pointed out that some school districts and school bus companies currently permit their drivers to administer epi-pens to student passengers who have an allergic reaction. However, drivers may be reluctant to apply the potentially life-saving treatment because of legal liability issues.
House Bill 243 does not mandate that school districts or school bus companies enact an epi-pen policy, only that such a policy would allow for civil immunity if the guidelines are met.
Similar legislation sponsored by Simmons was passed by the House during the 2013-14 session, but it stalled in the Senate.
For more information on Simmons and his legislative priorities, visit www.RepSimmons.com
Representative Justin Simmons
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs