A bill to provide liability protections for businesses, schools, and individuals in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic was brought to the Senate Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee for discussion only Wednesday.
Senate President Robert Stivers went before committee members to discuss his sponsored legislation, Senate Bill 5, which he said would provide premises-based protections for businesses, organizations, schools, and individuals who have reopened and are following recommended guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Stivers, the bill would provide protection for businesses and individuals who own, lease, manage or control a premise that the public enters to obtain goods, services or conduct activities, and act within the guidelines and recommendations pertaining to COVID-19. The bill would not provide protections for businesses or organizations who act in a malicious or grossly negligent manner to ignore executive orders or guidelines.
Stivers also discussed a provision that would define “essential services that may be needed during a given emergency. “These businesses or individuals providing such services would be cloaked with governmental immunity,” Stivers said.
“We applaud President Stivers for introducing these protections for businesses, who have already sacrificed so much in combatting COVID-19,” said Kate Shanks, Vice President of Public Affairs at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “We need to provide certainty to businesses and health care workers by protecting them from frivolous lawsuits.”