Nevada small-business owners speak out against being targets for COVID-related lawsuits
CARSON CITY, Nev., July 30, 2020—When Nevada state lawmakers reconvene for a second special session, small-business owners are hoping one issue above the others gets immediate priority: Liability reform.
“Quite frankly, nothing else the Legislature will consider is as important as making it as easy as possible for Silver State small-business owners to reopen, rehire, and regenerate our economy—nothing,” said Randi Thompson, Nevada state director for NFIB. “Of all the daily worries small-business owners have, a lawsuit is the joker in the deck that can shutter an enterprise faster than any. What makes a potential COVID-19 lawsuit particularly insidious is that there is almost no way to prove a customer or employee contracted the coronavirus while at a place of business, but that will not stop some enterprising lawyers from, wink, wink, making the lawsuit go away for a small fee. Small-business owners remember all too well how this was done using supposed violations in the Americans with Disabilities Act in shake-down lawsuits.”
Small business owners speak out
- “As of now businesses are sitting ducks for eager attorneys and unethical individuals. Covid-19 has changed our world forever. As a business owner we have spent countless dollars, implemented many safety procedures, and spent much time and effort training our employees to be safe. We would like to voice our support of protections against frivolous Covid-19 business lawsuits.” — Toni Warden, Garden Shop Nursery Landscape, Sparks,
- “Our company and many other small businesses are in desperate need of protection from lawsuits arising from Covid-19. We do all we can to protect not only our staff, but customers. Because we are considered a non-essential business, we need to remain open. A lawsuit would destroy our company and the lives of our staff.” — Julia L Mockbee, Sierra Settlement of Nevada, Pahrump, NV 89048
- “It’s essential for small business to have liability protection from lawsuits relating to the COVID. Small businesses are barely hanging on and one lawsuit would kill them. In fact, insurance companies are now saying they will not cover any COVID related claims, so any liability now becomes a personal financial attack on the owners.” — Larry Appel, Pianissimo Coffee & More, Reno
According to a nationwide poll of its members, NFIB found nearly 70% of small-business owners either very concerned or moderately concerned with becoming a victim of a COVID-related lawsuit, one reason why NFIB made liability protection one of its five legislative priorities for Phase Four funding from Congress.
But Thompson said the issue can’t wait. “We can’t wait for Congress to finally come through with liability protection, if it ever will” she said. “Nevada needs to act now. Other states have, so there are plenty of examples from which to borrow.”
Keep up with the latest on Nevada small business at www.nfib.com/nevada or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_NV
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.
12575 Overbrook Dr.
Reno, NV 89511