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Senate stimulus bill introduced with COVID-19 liability protections

Wednesday, August 5, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Elissa Rodrigues
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A second economic stimulus bill introduced in the U.S. Senate this week (S. 4317, the “Safeguarding America’s Frontline Employees To Offer Work Opportunities Required to Kickstart the Economy Act” or the “SAFE TO WORK Act”) incorporates important liability protections for frontline medical providers and facilities.


The issue has remained unresolved at the federal level since the start of the pandemic. This is of particular concern given the national nature of the crisis and the lack or inadequacy of sufficient state-level protections.


Language in the bill creates an exclusive federal cause of action for injuries resulting from the treatment, diagnosis, or care of coronavirus, or care directly affected by the coronavirus. In addition, the bill preserves state laws which provide even greater levels of protection for our frontline healthcare professionals. The HCLA has also supported a bipartisan standalone bill, H.R. 7059, that addresses the legal vulnerabilities faced by healthcare providers as a result of the pandemic.


Both H.R. 7059 and S. 4317 appropriately exclude liability protections in situations of gross negligence or willful misconduct.


Speaking in support of the bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated, “Nobody should have to face an epidemic of lawsuits on the heels of the pandemic that we already have related to the coronavirus.”


The stimulus bill remains subject to continued negotiations among the Senate, the White House, and the House, with all parties expressing hope that an agreement will come quickly to address a range of needs by workers and consumers who have been faced with economic challenges in the wake of COVID-19.


For more information on the Senate stimulus measure and the SAFE TO WORK Act, click here.

Source: Protect Patients Now

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