ELMHURST – State Sen. Chris Nybo, R-Elmhurst, with support from DuPage County Board member Pete DiCianni, has filed an amendment to the Annie LeGere Law to offer greater liability protection for medical professionals prescribing EpiPens to law enforcement entities, such as the Elmhurst Police Department.
Senate Bill 2226, which addresses the liability protection concern, is in the Senate Assignments Committee and may be reviewed during the 2018 spring legislative session, which starts in January, according to Nybo's office.
Nybo said he filed the bill Aug. 17, but there will not be enough time for it to be passed during the six-day veto session, which begins Oct. 24.
"To pass legislation in those six days of veto session would require a series of motions suspending normal rules," he said.
The bill states "a physician, physician's assistant or advanced practice registered nurse with prescriptive authority who will provide a prescription or standing order for epinephrine for an Illinois police department will not be subject to civil or professional liability for law enforcement’s misuse of the medication."
"It's really just an innocent oversight more than anything," Nybo said about the original Annie LeGere Law's liability issues.
He said when the issues were discovered in the administration of the law, he went back to the 2011 school EpiPens legislation, House Bill 3294, and saw the different standard of liability offered to doctors in that law. Nybo said he hopes lawmakers can extend that act's liability protection to the Annie LeGere Law.
However, there is a possibility trial lawyers might oppose the act because of the limitation of liability, he said.
"Anything that says there's a limited amount of liability if you administer epinephrine and something really bad happens they might be concerned about because it limits their liability to file lawsuits – or win lawsuits," Nybo said.
The Annie LeGere Law became effective in January, and it is named for Elmhurst resident Annie LeGere, who died Aug. 26, 2015, from prolonged anaphylactic shock caused by an allergic reaction. She was 13 years old.
"I feel in my heart that I've done what I set out to do, and I've pursued this as much as I can, but I can't change what the legalities are right now," said Shelly LeGere, Annie's mother. "I have to have faith that Chris Nybo sent the amendment, the amendment will be signed and then we'll proceed from there."
The plan to have Elmhurst police officers carry EpiPens experienced a setback when one of the doctors who signed a standing order to allow for the rollout said none of the three Department of Public Health training programs for officers were adequate.
Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth said the department is continuing to research other training programs in the meantime, but it is "really in a holding pattern" until they know what the medical community wants in terms of training for administering EpiPens.
"I hope that the legislative authors have partnered with the medical community to achieve the safe deployment of EpiPens," Ruth said.