As the economy reopens, business leaders ask U.S. Senate for protections

Representatives of retail, food and fuel, higher education and tourism were among the business leaders asking the U.S. Senate to provide liability protections as the nation restarts the economy. At a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, they asked for temporary protection against litigation. As the nation moves toward reopening its economy, there are real concerns among business owners that the unknowns of the virus and the lack of guidance creates an environment ripe for employee and customer lawsuits.  That will add insult to the injury of COVID-19’s devastating impact. Already, Walmart faces a wrongful death suit and the meat packing industry is being sued. Liability protections may be part of the next stimulus package, according to Senator Mitch McConnell. Read more in Legal Newsline, “Businesses plead with Judiciary Committee for help from coronavirus lawsuits, warn of ‘liability cliff’.” In Pennsylvania, legislation providing liability protection to health care facilities and professionals, as well as businesses who have re-tooled to make Personal Protective Equipment, has been introduced in the House. H.B. 2546 has not yet been referred to a committee. PCCJR expects similar legislation, as well as premises liability protection legislation, to be introduced in the Senate in the near future.

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