PCCJR – April 10, 2020

COVID-19 Immunity** Civil Justice Reform-Minded Lawyers Needed ** Taking on Coronavirus ** 

COVID-10 Heroes Deserve Immunity

Pennsylvania is facing new and unexpected challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care providers and businesses large and small are incurring risk to provided life-saving care, equipment, and goods to get us all through this public health crisis. They deserve our gratitude and support. Yet, this week the legislature went home without taking action to protect them.

Front-line heroes aren’t only at risk for contracting the COVID-19 virus. They also face the unprecedented threat of liability from “Billboard Lawyers” looking to take advantage of the crisis.

Think about it.

Hospitals are experiencing shortages of resources and some are converting offsite facilities to meet unprecedented demand for services.

Businesses are stepping up to re-tool and retrofit their facilities to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed to protect health care workers and emergency service responders.

Companies are working overtime to find treatments and create vaccines.

Retired doctors and nurses are answering the call and returning to service.

Doctors and nurses are working long hours to treat the afflicted at great risk to their own health and well-being.

Elective surgery and procedures are being delayed.

All of these actions, necessary to save lives during this crisis, increase liability risks. While businesses and health care providers are rising to the challenge to defeat this virus, Pennsylvania’s “Billboard Lawyers” are looking to cash in! 

Health care providers and business are meeting the challenge to fight this virus but need help immunity against civil lawsuits as they work to defeat this pandemic. Other states, such as Connecticut, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, Louisiana, and Illinois have already provided their COVID-19 heroes some level of immunity during this crisis. Immunity legislation is moving in other states as well.

PCCJR is urging Pennsylvania’s elected representatives to recognize the unprecedented challenges confronting those working to defeat this pandemic. Our health care providers, manufacturers, and distributors deserve the same protections from civil suits their colleagues in other states have been granted. Urge your local representatives to enact immunity provisions for those responding to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: Protect the Doctors and Nurses Who are Protecting Us | The Wall Street Journal| April 1, 2020

Coronavirus could require rationing of lifesaving resources. Health workers and people with disabilities deserve protection. | Editorial | The Inquirer | April 8, 2020

Civil Justice Reform-Minded Lawyers Needed for Civil Procedural Rules Committee

If you share PCCJR’s view that courts should treat all parties fairly and interpret statutes as intended by the legislature, please consider applying for one of three open positions on the Supreme Court’s Civil Procedural Rules Committee. The membership of this committee has traditionally been weighted toward plaintiffs’ attorneys. Three vacancies offers the chance to achieve more balanced representation. The deadline to apply is April 30.

Nothing demonstrates the importance of the court’s committees better than the current efforts to reverse the medical malpractice venue rule. The current venue rule was enacted to prevent venue shopping and played a key role in alleviating the medical malpractice crisis of the early 2000s. The Civil Procedural Rules Committee is reviewing a proposed change that would mark a return to broader venue rules and venue shopping in medical malpractice cases. While the Supreme Court establishes procedural rules, the committees advise the court and play an influential role in shaping the court’s decisions on the adoption of proposed rule changes.

Apply by April 30! You can apply for appointment to these openings by clicking here.

PCCJR Members Take on the Coronavirus Challenge

At UPMC, researchers are reporting progress on potential COVID-19 vaccine that has shown early promise in tests on mice. Another group of UPMC researches say they are close to completing a blood test to determine immunity against the virus.

Companies like Shell have helped keep the supply lines flowing for soaps and hand sanitizer and Merck is working with several life sciences companies through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the development, manufacture, and delivery of vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments for COVID-19.

Other PCCJR members are hard at work to meet the needs of the public during this COVID-19 pandemic. PCCJR will feature these efforts from time to time.

Check out PCCJR’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for other amazing work that is being done by Pennsylvania companies and PCCJR members to battle COVID-19.

In the News….

It didn’t take long!Even homeowners could be in danger of lawyers trying to cash in on coronavirus | Legal Newsline

 

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