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Coalition urges Congress to include liability protections in next COVID relief package

Washington — The ADA and a coalition of over 580 stakeholders is urging Congress to include targeted and temporary liability protections in the next COVID-19 relief package.

In a Feb. 1 letter, the coalition — led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform — told lawmakers that implementing these protections is critical to helping safeguard educational institutions, health care providers, businesses and non-profit organizations from unfair lawsuits.

The groups noted that as COVID-19 continues to surge across the country, many who remain on the front lines and continue to serve their communities are burdened by the threat of unfair litigation. They noted that in 2020 plaintiffs spent more than $23 million on COVID-19-related lawsuit advertisements, “a clear indication” that a litigation wave could be on the horizon.

“As employers, educational institutions, and others answer President Biden’s very appropriate call for face coverings and other protective steps, they should not have to worry that their actions will invite costly and unnecessary litigation,” the coalition wrote. “The time for federal action implementing liability protections from such litigation is now.”

The groups urged Congress to include balanced liability relief provisions similar to last Congress’ Safe to Work Act (S 4317) in any further COVID-19 relief legislation so that “unfair lawsuits will not hamper” entities who work to comply with applicable government guidelines. 

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