COVID-19 Liability Shield Laws

COVID-19 Liability Shield Laws, many states have taken action shielding certain business from liability relating to Covid-19.   Arizona is on the same tract.  Currently SB 1377  is making its way through the Arizona legislature.  If passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Ducey the new law would provide immunity from liability for healthcare professionals or institutions when the governor declares a state of emergency resulting from a health pandemic.

The law would enact two statutes.

The first statute would protect (ARS 12-515) business owners and the second (ARS 12-516) would protect healthcare providers.  The later would apply equally to hospitals as it would assisted living facilities and nursing homes.  Meaning if you have loved one who is a resident in a nursing home and he/she dies from Covid-19 due to the negligent acts of the facility, it would be immune from liability.  The exception being if the facility acted with willful misconduct or gross negligence.  As it relates to healthcare providers it would  also cover claims for delaying or cancelling non urgent or elective procedures,  and providing nursing care.

The first statute would protect individual, schools and business from Covid-19 exposure lawsuits.  Provided the person or provider adopts and implements reasonable practices  to protect individuals. The law would only be in effect until 31 December 2022 and is only triggered if the Governor issues a pandemic related state of emergency.


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