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HB 605 - Establishes Protections For Businesses From Certain COVID-19 Related Lawsuits - Pennsylvania Key Vote

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Title: Establishes Protections For Businesses From Certain COVID-19 Related Lawsuits

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that establishes certain immunities for small business in frivolous covid-19 lawsuit cases

Highlights:

  • Classifies "public health directives" as orders or guidelines lawfully issued by the Federal or State Government regarding (Sec. 1.f):

    • The manufacturing , distribution, labeling or use of personal protective equipment during the proclamation of disaster emergency;

    • Treatment or testing of individuals with or reasonably believed to have COVID-19; or

    • Steps necessary or recommended to prevent, limit or slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • Establishes a person that manufactures, distributes or labels personal protective equipment will not be civilly liable for damages or personal injury related to actual or alleged exposure to COVID-19 in connection with the use of personal protective equipment, absent a showing, by clear and convincing evidence, of gross negligence, recklessness, willful misconduct or intentional infliction of harm if the person commenced manufacturing, distributing or labeling (Sec. 8368.13.A-1):

    • Only in connection with a proclamation of disaster emergency; or

    • In accord with the same standards to which it manufactured, distributed or labeled the equipment before a proclamation of disaster emergency, unless the equipment is clearly labeled to indicate otherwise.

  • Establishes a person providing business or government services shall not be civilly liable for damages or personal injury, related to an actual or alleged exposure to covid-19, absent a showing, by clear and convincing evidence, of gross negligence, recklessness, willful misconduct or intentional infliction of harm (Sec. 8368.14.A).

  • Prohibits a school entity or child-care facility shall not be civilly liable for damages or personal injury relating to an actual or alleged exposure to covid-19, absent a showing, by clear and convincing evidence, of gross negligence, recklessness, willful misconduct or intentional infliction of harm (Sec. 8368.12.A).

  • Specifies in determining civil liability under this subchapter, a court will (Sec. 8368.16.B):

    • For a manufacturer, distributor, labeler or user, consider public health directives which were in effect at the time of the manufacture, distribution, labeling, sale or use of the personal protective equipment; or

    • For a person providing business or government services, user of personal protective equipment, school entity or child-care facility, consider public health directives which were in effect at the time an alleged act or omission occurred.

    • For a covered provider, consider public health directives which were in effect at the time an alleged act or omission occurred.

  • Specifies that nothing in this law will do the following (Sec. 3):

    • Be construed to create a new cause of action or expand any civil or criminal liability otherwise imposed or limit any defense; or

    • Prevent an individual from filing a claim for workers' compensation or receiving benefits under the act known as the Workers' Compensation Act, if otherwise available.

Title: Establishes Protections For Businesses From Certain COVID-19 Related Lawsuits

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