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SB 277 - Establishes Liability Protections for the COVID-19 Pandemic - West Virginia Key Vote


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Title: Establishes Liability Protections for the COVID-19 Pandemic

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that establishes liability protections for the COVID-19 pandemic.



  • Defines “impacted care” as care offered, delayed, postponed, or otherwise adversely affected at a health care facility or to a health care provider during the COVID-19 emergency that impacted the health care facility’s or health care provider’s response to, or as a result of, the COVID-19 emergency (Sec. 55-19-3.10).

  • Defines “first responder” as a person who performs one or more “emergency services” and any other person authorized by executive order who will be deployed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (Sec. 55-19-3.6).

  • Alleges the threat of liability poses an obstacle to efforts to reopen and rebuild the West Virginia economy and to continue to provide medical care to impacted West Virginians (Sec. 55-19-2.11).

  • Classifies “essential business” as a person or entity that is (Sec. 55-19-3.5):

    • An essential business or operation as specified by Executive Order No. 9-20 on March 23, 2020, and any subsequent orders or amendments thereto; or

    • Within an essential critical infrastructure sector as defined by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

  • Establishes there is no claim against any person, essential business, business, entity, health care facility, health care provider, first responder, or volunteer for loss, damage, physical injury, or death arising from COVID-19, COVID-19 care, or impacted care (Sec. 55-19-4).

  • Establishes limitations on liability does not apply to any person, or any employee or agent thereof, that (Sec. 55-19-5.c):

    • Had actual knowledge of a defect in the product when put to the use for which the product was manufactured, sold, distributed, or donated; and acted with conscious, reckless, and outrageous indifference to a substantial and unnecessary risk that the product would cause serious injury to others; or

    • Acted with actual malice.

  • Specifies when a claim for workers’ compensation benefits is filed by an employee for a work-related injury, disease, or death caused by or arising from COVID-19 in the course of and resulting from covered employment, such claim for workers’ compensation benefits will be the sole and exclusive remedy for such injury, disease, or death and the immunity from suit will be and remain in full force and effect (Sec. 55-19-6.)

  • Specifies if any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this act (Sec. 55-19-7).

Title: Establishes Liability Protections for the COVID-19 Pandemic