NFIB Warns of Liability Damages on Small Businesses in Amicus Brief

Date: October 06, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 6, 2021) – NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller, P.L.L.C. at the U.S. Supreme Court. NFIB argues the Supreme Court should affirm the Fifth Circuit’s decision, which ruled that damages for emotional distress are categorically unavailable for violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the statutes that incorporate its remedies for victims of discrimination.

“Many federal funding programs are distributed in the small business community,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “If the petitioner’s theory is accepted, small businesses will disproportionately feel the burden of any liability damages for emotional distress.”

The case primarily concerns whether an award of compensatory damages for a violation of the anti-discrimination protections of Spending Clause statutes, specifically sections in the Rehabilitation Act and the Affordable Care Act, may include damages for emotional distress.

NFIB filed the brief with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, and the American Tort Reform Association.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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