As the United States Congress considers additional legislation to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, 21 Republican governors issued a letter to Congressional leadership advocating for any additional coronavirus response package to include common sense civil liability protections for businesses, educators, and health care workers.
Addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the letter reads in part:
As Congress debates a potential phase four bill, we ask that you take action to provide common sense civil liability protections to health care workers, businesses, and schools. When Americans take sensible steps to implement public health best practices, they should have confidence that they will be secure from unreasonable claims. Liability protections must be predictable, timely, targeted, and shield employers from legal risk when following the appropriate standard of care to protect employees, customers and students. To be clear, liability protections are not a license for gross negligence, misconduct, or recklessness.
To accelerate reopening our economies as quickly and as safely as possible, we must allow citizens to get back to their livelihoods and make a living for their families without the threat of frivolous lawsuits. As public policymakers, it is our duty to provide clarity, consistency, and stability to our citizens and their businesses, and the uniformity that federal law provides is critical to America’s industries that work across state lines.
Signatories to the letter include Governors Eric Holcomb (IN), Greg Abbott (TX), Doug Ducey (AZ), Kay Ivey (AL), Mike Dunleavy (AK), Asa Hutchinson (AR), Brad Little (ID), Kim Reynolds (IA), Larry Hogan (MD), Tate Reeves (MS), Mike Parson (MO), Pete Ricketts (NE), Chris Sununu (NH), Doug Burgum (ND), Mike DeWine (OH), Kevin Stitt (OK), Henry McMaster (SC), Bill Lee (TN), Gary Herbert (UT), Jim Justice (WV), and Mark Gordon (WY).