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      RS 40:2009.20     


§2009.20.  Duty to make complaints; penalty; immunity

A.  As used in this Section, the following terms shall mean:

(1)  "Abuse" is the infliction of physical or mental injury or the causing of the deterioration of a consumer by means including but not limited to sexual abuse, or exploitation of funds or other things of value to such an extent that his health or mental or emotional well-being is endangered.

(2)  "Neglect" is the failure to provide the proper or necessary medical care, nutrition, or other care necessary for a consumer's well-being.

B.(1)  Any person who is engaged in the practice of medicine, social services, facility administration, psychological or psychiatric services; or any registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, nurse's aide, home- and community-based service provider employee or worker, personal care attendant, respite worker, physician's assistant, physical therapist, or any other direct caregiver having knowledge that a consumer's physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be further adversely affected by abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall, within twenty-four hours, submit a report to the  department or inform the unit or local law enforcement agency of such abuse or neglect.  When the department receives a report of sexual or physical abuse, whether directly or by referral, the department shall notify the chief law enforcement agency of the parish in which the incident occurred of such report.  Such notification shall be made prior to the end of the business day subsequent to the day on which the department received the report.  For the purposes of this Paragraph, the chief law enforcement agency of Orleans Parish shall be the New Orleans Police Department.

(2)  Any person who knowingly or willfully violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than two months, or both.

C.  Any person, other than the person alleged to be responsible for the abuse or neglect, reporting pursuant to this Section in good faith shall have immunity from any civil liability that otherwise might be incurred or imposed because of such report.  Such immunity shall extend to participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report.

D.  All hospitals shall permanently display in a prominent location in their emergency rooms a copy of R.S. 40:2009.20.

Added by Acts 1982, No. 551, §1.  Acts 1983, No. 98, §1; Acts 1983, No. 616, §1; Acts 1990, No. 859, §2; Acts 1997, No. 1002, §1; Acts 2002, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 80, §2; Acts 2003, No. 832, §1; Acts 2008, No. 839, §3, eff. July 8, 2008.

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