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Bill giving search, rescue groups legal cover axed by Gov. Brewer

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill giving broad protection from lawsuits to members of search and rescue groups.

Brewer called House Bill 2611 overly broad and said the language could have unintended consequences. Thursday’s veto letter said the definition of a “organized search and rescue team” was not defined in the bill.

The bill by Republican Rep. Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff would have exempted a member of an organized search and rescue group from liability except in cases of gross negligence.

Thorpe said he crafted the bill because search and rescue group members in other states have been sued and volunteers in Arizona were buying their own insurance. He said he disagrees with the governor’s conclusions that the bill is too broad.


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