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Gov. Holcomb signs bill providing COVID-19 liability protections to businesses, nursing homes
Indianapolis Star - 2/18/2021
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill Thursday that would provide businesses, including nursing homes, civil immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits.
The act goes into effect immediately.
“The pandemic has affected Hoosier businesses, schools and others in ways no one could have foreseen just one year ago," Holcomb said in a statement. "To aid in the state’s recovery, I made providing assurances that they will not have to live and work in fear of frivolous lawsuits a part of my Next Level Agenda."
Critics worried Senate Bill 1 could impact legal claims targeting nursing homes that have no connection to the pandemic and would provide unnecessary and unprecedented protections.
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But the bill was a top priority for Holcomb and other legislative leaders who said businesses need protections from frivolous lawsuits as they do their best to adapt to unprecedented times.
"Most Hoosier businesses and other organizations are making good faith attempts to protect their customers and employees," Holcomb continued, "because it is the right thing to do and it makes for better business in the long run. "
The bill does provide exceptions to civil immunity for "gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct." It also provides civil tort immunity for businesses that manufactured COVID-19 protection products.
Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray praised Holcomb for signing the legislation.
"I am proud of the partnership between the Senate, House and Gov. Holcomb to bring this bill into law," Bray said in a statement, and look forward to that continued collaboration as we move through the rest of the session and consider policies to help keep our state moving in the right direction."
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Senate Enrolled Act passed by a 39-7 vote in the Senate and a 72-21 vote in the House.
Call IndyStar reporter Kaitlin Lange at 317-432-9270. Follow her on Twitter: @kaitlin_lange.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Gov. Holcomb signs bill providing COVID-19 liability protections to businesses, nursing homes
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