COVID-19 liability protections for businesses, schools, and others takes first step through legislative process

A bill to provide liability protections for businesses, schools, and individuals in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic passed through the Senate Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee Tuesday.

Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers, would provide premises-based protections for businesses, organizations, schools, and individuals who have reopened and are following recommended guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Stivers said the bill has a committee substitute that would make the liability protections apply specifically only to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill, he said, ultimately gives protections to individuals operating in good faith under whatever guidelines are in place.

Senate Bill 5 has bipartisan support from a large coalition of groups from the business, medical, education, retail, and many other sectors.

“Senate Bill 5 provides meaningful protections that will offer the certainty job creators and healthcare workers deserve. They have adapted to new and ever-changing guidelines and remained on the front lines working to help keep our economy going and our fellow Kentuckians safe. Without the protections found in Senate Bill 5, Kentucky risks delaying our recovery and stunting job growth. The restaurant owner downtown, your neighbor who works at the nearest hospital, and your child’s teacher are working hard to keep the people they serve safe, and should not need to worry about costly and unnecessary lawsuits,” a recent op-ed from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky School Board Association, Kentucky Medical Association, and the Kentucky Retail Federation states.

Senate Bill 5 now moves to the Senate floor to be heard and voted on by the full Senate.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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