PCCJR Update — May 4, 2020

Still Waiting for Safe Harbor for COVID-19 Heroes

We may not know the full scope or impact of the COVID-19 pandemic yet, but what we do know is that the consequences of the decisions, deployed resources, and plans to save lives will be with us for years to come. Health care practitioners and businesses working to meet increased demand for Personal Protective Equipment have their backs against the wall and have never faced such daunting and dangerous conditions.

Pennsylvania continues to resist taking action to protect the COVID-19 heroes in our health institutions and on the manufacturing floors. The lack of movement is surprising, as we know plaintiffs’ attorneys are preparing a surge in lawsuitsand we’ve already seen moves made by the plaintiffs’ bar seeking clients so they can cash in on the pandemic. PCCJRand its members continue to work with the Governor’s office and members of the House and Senate to enact safe harbor legislation, similar to laws passed and executive orders made in a growing number of states. Pennsylvanians struggling to serve the public’s needs during this crisis should not have to answer to second guessing plaintiffs’ attorneys, most of whom have never treated and cured an illness or made a product of public value.

The below video from our friends at ATRA nicely explains the need for liability protections for those working to keep us healthy and safe.

Venue Shopping Post-COVID-19 – Potential Change Threatens PA Now More Than Ever

Long before COVID-19 hit, we knew that the return to venue shopping in medical liability cases would severely impact access to health care. Facing the fallout of COVID-19, a change in the venue rule could push hospitals, nursing homes, and health care professionals over the edge.

PCCJR recently penned a guest column, Returning to the Days of Venue Shopping Would Hurt Pennsylvanians,which appeared in the April edition of Pennsylvania Physician. Venue shopping was a significant factor causing the medical liability crisis in the early 2000s. The Pew Report found that the liability crisis of the early 2000s was due in large part to an increase in the cost of claims. More cases filed in places like Philadelphia will only cause the cost of claims to rise again, putting pressure on the health care system and threatening the availability of high-risk services, like maternity care.

With the complicating factor of coming  lawsuits related to COVID-19, we shudder to think what could happen if the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decides they can file those lawsuits in the Judicial Hellhole known as Philadelphia no matter where the harm occurred!

PCCJR Needs Your Input for Our Future Website

PCCJR is revamping its website and we want your input. What will make our website useful to you? Send us your input by taking this short six question survey. Your ideas will help inform our website design and web-based services to best suit your needs and support the cause of bringing sanity to our courts and civil justice system.

Your response by Friday, May 8 is appreciated.

PCCJR Member, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Collaborates on Lifesaving Invention

Among stories of hope, generosity and togetherness, the COVID-19 pandemic has also given rise to an incredible feat of ingenuity. A collaboration between PCCJR member St. Luke’s and Lehigh University led to the invention of the “Bug Zapper” to sterilize masks. Using a UV-C light, the team developed a high-throughput sterilization system to decontaminate 200 masks every 8 minutes.

Read more about the creativity and collaboration that responded to the desperate need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for our hospitals and other front-line organizations.

Continue to check in on PCCJR’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for other good work that is being done by Pennsylvania companies and PCCJR members in response to COVID-19.

In the News

Companies need protection. | McConnell Wants Broad Liability Shield In Next COVID-19 Bill | Law360

When will PA act? | Pennsylvania leaders haven’t protected health care providers from coronavirus lawsuits| Pennsylvania Record

Theme parks, banks and cruise lines, oh my! | As the coronavirus curve flattens, expect a rise in lawsuits: ‘Things that you and I can’t even imagine,’ an attorney says| PennLive

 

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