Urge Iowa Lawmakers to Pass COVID-19 Liability Protections Now
The Iowa legislature resumed the 2020 session on Wednesday, June 3. The session is predicted to last 10-12 days as legislators finish up old business and finalize new budgets for the new fiscal year that begins on July 1st. One item that will be very important to Iowa’s small businesses is COVID-19 related liability protections. As businesses begin to reopen, rehire and rebuild, owners should not live in fear of frivolous lawsuits that could harm or even close their business. It is important that the state legislature takes immediate action to put liability protections in place.
This week the Iowa House of Representatives is considering legislation that would address COVID related liability protections. Some of the key points within the COVID-19 liability protection legislation include:
• Require that individuals bringing suit meet minimum medical conditions, in this case hospitalization or death. It also must be proved that the defendant in the case acted in in a way that was intended to cause harm or acted with malice.
• Provide protections from liability lawsuits to persons in control of a facility unless that person recklessly disregards risks or acts with malice.
• Provide protection from lawsuits if the business was in compliance with federal or state regulations, orders or guidance.
• Provide protection from lawsuits to health care providers as their industry transformed to respond to COVID-19.
• Provide protection from lawsuits to those involved in providing products like disinfectants and face shields needed to fight the virus unless the person disregarded a substantial or unnecessary risk or acted with malice.
• Be retroactive to cover the entire period of the presence, to the best of our knowledge, of the coronavirus COVID-19 in Iowa.
NFIB is keeping track of what’s happening at the Capitol and will keep you updated about what lawmakers are doing about this important legislation.