Congress Fails to Protect Small Businesses & Others from COVID-19 Liability

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ATRA voices its disappointment as Congress fails to include liability protections in its latest COVID-19 relief package.

As Congress prepares to vote on the latest coronavirus relief package today, the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) is disappointed to learn critical liability protections are excluded from the final bill. Yet again, Congressional leaders failed to recognize the importance of providing essential lawsuit protections to business owners, health care providers, schools and other entities as so many continue to struggle during this pandemic.

While the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) provided limited liability protection for health care workers and manufacturers of some respiratory masks, liability concerns still abound as the country grapples with the realities of what lawsuits may await following a full reopening of the economy.

Congress should foster a reliable and predictable business climate allowing businesses to re-open confidently, without fear of potential legal repercussions should an employee contract COVID-19 while at work. Businesses of all sizes must be made aware of what sort of liability they will or will not face before they begin the process of re-opening. ATRA urges lawmakers at both the federal and state level to address these growing concerns.

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