Liability Protection Must Emerge from Special Session

Date: August 25, 2020

No reason Idaho can’t do what three of its neighboring states already have

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Suzanne Budge, Idaho State Director, [email protected]
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 25, 2020—Small-business owners were elated when Gov. Brad Little put liability protection on the special session agenda, now the state director for their largest group said lawmakers need to act decisively by approving House Bill 5.

“Congress continues to dither over the issue of liability protection, so states must act,” said Suzanne Budge, “and many have, including our neighbors Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. There’s no reason Idaho should delay keeping our small-business owners safely at arm’s length from a COVID-19 lawsuit claiming, but without the ability to prove, a plaintiff contracted the virus at a place of business.”

In a post on its blog, national law firm Pillsbury seems to second Budge’s urgent call for the Legislature to act. “As Congress continues to debate the merits of liability protection statutes, businesses look to their states for guidance. The responses, or in some cases non-responses, of several states reveals the wide range of approaches taken to shield various entities from civil liability and the large number of individuals that remain at risk of being sued for potential COVID-19-related claims. A lack of clear guidance as to what constitutes a defense to a COVID-19-related tort claim opens the door to prolonged, expensive litigation.”

Results from a nationwide poll of NFIB members released yesterday by the association’s Research Center showed 55% of small-business owners either very or moderately concerned about a COVID-19 lawsuit.

“We’re asking a lot of our small-business owners to help our economy recover,” added Budge. “The least we could do is create as much of a worry-free environment for them to operate in as possible. HB 5 is a step in that direction.”

Keep up with the latest on Idaho small business at www.nfib.com/idaho or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_ID

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For more than 77 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.

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