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CSSB 22(HSS): "An Act relating to prevention and evaluation of and liability for concussions in student athletes."

00                       CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 22(HSS)                                                                    
01 "An Act relating to prevention and evaluation of and liability for concussions in student                               
02 athletes."                                                                                                              
03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
04    * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section                          
05 to read:                                                                                                                
06       CONCUSSIONS IN STUDENT ATHLETES; FINDINGS. The legislature finds that                                             
07            (1)  concussions rank among the most commonly reported traumatic brain                                       
08 injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational activities;                             
09            (2)  the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates                                  
10 that as many as 3,900,000 concussions occur each year in the United States as a result of                               
11 sports and recreational activities;                                                                                     
12            (3)  a concussion is caused by a blow to or jarring of the head or body that                                 
13 causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull, resulting in a mild to severe traumatic brain                        
14 injury, which may occur with or without loss of consciousness, and may disrupt normal brain                             
01 function;                                                                                                               
02            (4)  a concussion may occur during an organized or unorganized sport or                                      
03 recreational activity as a result of a fall or from players colliding with each other or another                        
04 obstacle;                                                                                                               
05            (5)  the risk of catastrophic injury or death from a concussion or other head                                
06 injury increases when the injury is not properly evaluated and managed, and the athlete is                              
07 allowed to continue to participate in sports or recreational activities following the concussion;                       
08            (6)  although voluntary nationwide guidelines for managing concussion in                                     
09 sports recommend assessing concussions on an individual basis, with gradual return to play,                             
10 athletes continue to be returned to play prematurely, putting them at risk for greater injury or                        
11 death.                                                                                                                  
12    * Sec. 2. AS 14.30 is amended by adding new sections to article 3 to read:                                       
13            Sec. 14.30.142. Concussions in student athletes: prevention and reporting.                                 
14       (a) The governing body of a school district shall consult with the Alaska School                                  
15       Activities Association to develop and publish guidelines and other information to                                 
16       educate coaches, student athletes, and parents of student athletes regarding the nature                           
17       and risks of concussions. Guidelines developed under this section must include a                                  
18       description of the risks of return to play and standards for return to play, including the                        
19       procedures required under (c) and (d) of this section.                                                          
20            (b)  A school shall annually provide to a student and the parent or guardian of a                            
21       student who is under 18 years of age written information on the nature and risks of                               
22       concussions. A student may not participate in school athletic activities unless the                               
23       student and the parent or guardian of a student who is under 18 years of age have                                 
24       signed a verification of receipt of the information required under this subsection.                               
25            (c)  A student who is suspected of having sustained a concussion during a                                    
26       practice or game shall be immediately removed from the practice or game.                                          
27            (d)  A student who has been removed from participation in a practice or game                                 
28       for suspicion of concussion may not return to play until the student has been evaluated                           
29       and cleared for participation in writing by a qualified person who has received training                          
30       and is currently certified in the evaluation and management of concussions, as verified                           
31       in writing by the qualified person. In this subsection, "qualified person" means either a                         
01                 (1)  licensed health care provider; or                                                                  
02                 (2)  person who is acting at the direction and under the supervision of a                               
03       licensed physician.                                                                                               
04            (e)  A person who conducts an evaluation under (d) of this section and who is                                
05       not paid for conducting the evaluation may not be held liable for civil damages                                   
06       resulting from an act or omission during the evaluation, except that the person may be                            
07       held liable for reckless or intentional misconduct and for gross negligence.                                      
08            Sec. 14.30.143. Concussions in student athletes: school district immunity.                                 
09       (a) A school district may not be held liable for an injury to or the death of a person                            
10       resulting from the action or inaction of a person employed by or under contract with a                            
11       nonprofit youth organization if                                                                                   
12                 (1)  the action or inaction occurred on school property during the                                      
13       delivery of services by the district or organization;                                                             
14                 (2)  the organization is under contract with the district to provide the                                
15       services; and                                                                                                     
16                 (3)  before the provision of services, the organization provided to the                                 
17       district written verification of                                                                                  
18                      (A)  a valid insurance policy covering the injury or death in an                                   
19            amount not less than $50,000 for each person and $100,000 for each incident;                                 
20                      (B)  compliance with the protocol for prevention and reporting                                     
21            of concussions required in AS 14.30.142.                                                                     
22            (b)  This section may not be construed to impair or modify the ability of a                                  
23       person to recover damages for harm caused by the negligent or reckless actions of an                              
24       employee or contractor of a school district or by the existence of a condition,                                   
25       equipment, program, or structure known by the school district or organization to be                               
26       unsafe.                                                                                                           
27            (c)  In this section, "youth organization" means a public or private entity                                  
28       qualified to do business in the state that provides a program or service to persons                               
29       under 19 years of age.