Georgia Leads 21-State Coalition Urging Congress to Enact COVID-19 Liability Protections
Wednesday, May 13th, 2020
Attorney General Chris Carr is leading a 21-state coalition in urging Congress to enact specific liability protections that help mitigate the threat of frivolous COVID-related litigation for much-needed goods and services while still ensuring victims are able to seek legal redress and compensation where appropriate. In the wake of this unprecedented crisis, the extension of appropriate post-pandemic liability protections is needed at both the state and federal levels for businesses, manufacturers of personal protective equipment, first responders, healthcare workers, healthcare facilities and members of law enforcement, among others.
“Our economy will only recover if customers, employees and businesses alike have confidence to return to the marketplace,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “As attorneys general, we ensure our states have a legal and regulatory environment that protects consumers and allows the free enterprise system to thrive. It is in keeping with this mission that we are calling on Congress to ensure that those businesses that have engaged in best practices and followed federal and state guidance for safe and appropriate operations as a result of this pandemic will be protected from baseless litigation regarding COVID-related claims.”
States across the country have recognized the need for timely, targeted and tailored civil liability protections in light of the pandemic - to date over 20 states have enacted liability protections for first responders and healthcare workers. The coalition identifies that civil liability protections should not, however, be extended to businesses engaging in willful misconduct, reckless infliction of harm or intentional infliction of harm. Criminal penalties, regulatory fines and agency oversight should be able to capture bad actors and civil lawsuits should be available for any citizens hurt by a business or individual acting with disregard for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joining Georgia, the following state attorneys general signed on to the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.