Inside INdiana Business

COVID liability protection bill heads to governor

State Senator Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) (photo courtesy of the Indiana Senate Republicans)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — A bill to provide protections against COVID-related lawsuits is heading to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk. Senator Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) says Senate Enrolled Act 1, if signed by the governor, would provide businesses and individuals with immunity from civil liability if someone is exposed to COVID-19 on their property or during an activity they organized.

The bill was passed by the Senate on a vote of 39-7, after being passed by the House.

Messmer’s office says, under the bill, manufacturers of personal protective equipment would also be covered. However, the protection would not cover “instances of gross negligence or wanton misconduct on the part of the organization or individual.”

“Many Indiana businesses, organizations and individuals have made significant sacrifices during the pandemic to try and keep those in our community healthy,” Messmer said in a news release. “Unfortunately, the losses some businesses have experienced because of the COVID-19 pandemic are unrecoverable. Our goal with this legislation is to provide the reassurance and peace of mind organizations and businesses need to resume operations without the threat of a frivolous lawsuit, which will ultimately help our economy spring back.”

When the bill was introduced at the beginning of the legislative session, Messmer said there had been no instances of such lawsuits in Indiana.

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