Indiana Senate approved lawsuit-proof COVID bill

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You wouldn’t be able to sue over getting COVID under a bill approved by the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) says businesses, schools and nonprofits are under a “cloud of uncertainty and fear” that someone will sue claiming to have been infected on their property. He says it’s been clear since a couple of months into the pandemic that legislators would have to act to keep the threat of lawsuits from hamstringing the eventual economic recovery.

Messmer ‘s bill doesn’t rule out lawsuits entirely, but you’d have to show gross negligence or willful misconduct. Anderson Democrat Tim Lanane, one of eight senators to vote against the bill, says that  doesn’t go far enough. He says it may turn out there was nothing that could have reduced the virus’s toll of illness and death, but argues the liability shield will short-circuit any attempt at accountability.

A House committee has approved a similar bill — the full House should vote next month. Legislative leaders plan to accelerate the usual schedule to get a final bill to Governor Holcomb’s desk as quickly as possible.

At least five states have passed similar laws, though Congress has been at a partisan impasse over passing a bill at the federal level.

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