Bill Would Impose Liability for Covering Emergencies on a Public Street

Once again legislation has been introduced that would require stations to obtain written consent from patients before transmitting their image or voice.  This year’s bills are “A.420” sponsored by Assemblyman Edward Braunstein and “S.1693” sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

This legislation requires stations to obtain written consent from patients before broadcasting treatment images from a medical facility.  Unfortunately, EMT’s and ambulances are considered medical facilities.  As drafted the bill would impose civil liability on the media for broadcasting images of people being treated on a public street.  Moreover, the legislation would effectively limit investigative reporting of various medical facilities across the state.

We strongly oppose these bills.  In years past, the bills could be blocked in the Senate.  But we have a new Senate and the bills are likely to pass.  We are working with both the Senate and the Assembly to limit potential liability exposure for broadcasters.  We shall keep you updated on our progress.

To see a copy of our Memo in Opposition to the bills click HERE.

We have prepared a significant First Amendment analysis of the bill by noted First Amendment attorney Robert Corn Revere of the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.  To see a copy of the memo click HERE.


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