COVID-19 Liability Immunity Legislation
WSIA statement on liability immunity related to COVID-19 claims
WSIA supports temporary and targeted liability relief legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard businesses and the U.S. economy from unfair lawsuits that will impede our country’s effective recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. WSIA joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and over 250 entities with broad-based interests in support of the May 27 request to Congress for swift enactment of temporary liability protections for:
- businesses, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions that work to follow applicable public health guidelines against COVID-19 exposure claims;
- healthcare workers and facilities providing critical COVID-19-related care and services;
- manufacturers, donors, distributors, and users of vaccines, therapeutics, medical devices, as well as PPE and other supplies (such as hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies) that are critical to the COVID-19 response; and
- public companies targeted by unfair and opportunistic COVID-19-related securities lawsuits.
In addition to being temporary, WSIA believes these liability protections should be limited in scope and preserve recourse for those harmed by truly bad actors who engage in egregious misconduct.
WSIA supports states taking actions to protect workers and businesses as they begin reopening and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. We applaud efforts by states that would provide liability immunity or limit the expansion of risk of liability in ways detrimental to workers and businesses.
- S. 4317, the “SAFE TO WORK Act," was introduced by Senator Cornyn (R-TX) on July 27 and is intended to lessen the burdens on interstate commerce by discouraging insubstantial lawsuits relating to COVID–19. WSIA is working in coalition with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and now more than 500 other organizations in support of COVID-19 liability reform. The coalition sent a letter of support to Congress on July 30.
SB 330 provides civil immunity for business entities, health care providers, educational entities, churches, governmental entities, and cultural institutions and individuals associated with these entities, from certain damages related to COVID-19.
- SB 241 provides certain immunity from civil damages for health care agents, providers and manufacturers of PPE.
- HB 2912 clarifies that a school, church, religious institution, nonprofit organization, and a person operating a business, religious institution, or other organization related to COVID-19.
- Act 23-283 provides that a public health emergency executive order may include exemptions from civil liability for health care providers, first responders and other volunteers related to COVID-19.
- SB 359 provides immunity from premises, medical and PPE liability claims for healthcare facilities and providers. Also provides a rebuttable presumption that claimants assumed risk when exposed to COVID-19 when the owner takes certain precautions.
- SF 2338 establishes that claims for COVID-19 exposure may not be filed unless certain medical conditions are met. Provides limits on premises, certain product and health care provider liability and provides safe harbors for compliance with public heath guidance.
- HB 2016 provides liability immunity for healthcare providers, adult care facilities and certain products under certain conditions. Also provides defense for compliance with public health directives.
- SB 150 provides liability immunity for healthcare workers and PPE manufacturers related to COVID-19.
- HB 826 provides liability immunity for premises, event planners, employers and PPE manufacturers and sellers.
- SB 435 provides additional protections for premises liability.
- SB 491 provides additional protections for product liability.
- SB 508 provides additional protections for restaurant liability and food service.
- S 2630 and S 2640 provide liability protections for health care workers and facilities related to COVID-19.
- HF 4664 limits liability for PPE and supplies related to COVID-19.
- HF 4545/SF 4517 provide immunity defense for manufacturers of COVID-19 products.
- SF 4606 provides liability limitation for COVID-19 products.
- HF 4693/SF 4603 provide criminal, civil and administrative immunity for persons engaged in health care services related to COVID-19.
- SB 3049 limits liability for exposure, medical and product claims arising from COVID-19.
- S 7506B and A 9506B provides health care facilities and professionals civil and criminal immunity for any harm alleged to have resulted from services provided to an individual with COVID-19.
- S 2333 provides civil and criminal immunity to certain health care professionals and health care facilities related to COVID-19.
- SB 300 provides immunity for health care facilities and providers related to COVID-19.
- SB 1946 provides liability immunity from actions alleged to violate a duty of care complied with or that was consistent with government orders or guidance.
- SB 1947 provides liability immunity for producers, sellers and distributors of PPE related to COVID-19.
- SB 3002 provides liability immunity for health care providers related to COVID-19.
- SB 3007 provides liability immunity for businesses related to COVID-19.
- AB 1038 provides liability immunity for health care providers and manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of emergency medical supplied related to COVID-19.
- SF 1002 provides liability immunity related to COVID-19 for business entities that follow instructions of health officials
State Executive Orders
States Governors have also issued Executive Orders that extend liability immunity. For more an extensive listing of those actions we recommend visiting the Gubernatorial Executive Orders COVID-19 Resources compiled by the American Tort Reform Association.