Protecting Your Business Against COVID-19 Liability

Date: May 29, 2021

NFIB webinar invited three experts to discuss new state law

On April 5 of this year, Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1377 into law providing small businesses, schools, and medical facilities some legal protection against unfair COVID-19 lawsuits.

But what does that mean?

“If you haven’t acted improperly, and if you have acted reasonably and responsibly, you are probably OK, and you probably have a defense against a lawsuit and better yet, you probably will not have a claim or a lawsuit filed against you,” said Don Isaacson, president of Phoenix-based Isaacson Law Firm, one of three panelists NFIB Arizona brought together for a webinar on the new law.

“One of the key things to note,” said Marcus Osborn, another panelist and senior government relations director for the Phoenix-based KutakRock law firm, “is if you get sued, your insurance liability policy … provides a defense of your business. The second question I get asked is, does the bill [SB 1377] changes workers’ compensation liability, and the answer to that is …” Click the arrow below to listen to the entire webinar. Osborn’s answer comes at 32:45-minute mark. And his answer to whether employers should require their employees to get a vaccine can be heard at the 36:50-minute mark.

The webinar opened with Sen. Vince Leach, president pro tem of the Arizona State Senate, who authored Senate Bill 1377 and whom Isaacson, Osborn, and NFIB Arizona State Director Chad Heinrich praised for his work resurrecting liability reform from the ashes left by last year’s legislative session, which could not come to a consensus on the issue.

“One would be very hard-pressed to find another Arizona legislator who works as hard as Senator Leach does on behalf of the taxpayers,” said Heinrich about the veteran lawmaker, who modestly pointed out he “was simply pulling the plow.”

One of the many benefits of membership in NFIB is the continuing education it provides its members on the vital issues of the day through, among other avenues, frequent webinars. “All three of our guests covered every conceivable angle on how SB 1377 affects small-business owners, so much so that it provided not merely an acquaintance with the law but a full education.”

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