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Alting: COVID-19 liability protections bill passes Senate

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 28, 2021) – A bill co-authored by State Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) that would provide liability protections to Indiana businesses, organizations and individuals in coronavirus-related lawsuits passed the Senate today by a vote of 40 to 8.

Senate Bill 1 would provide organizations and individuals with immunity from civil liability for damages if someone is exposed to COVID-19 on their property or during an activity they organized. Manufacturers of personal protective equipment would also be protected. Liability protection would not cover instances of gross negligence or wanton misconduct on the part of the organization or individual.

SB 1 was recently amended to provide additional protections to any situation that alleges harm relating to COVID-19, including circumstances in hospitals.

"Indiana businesses have gone above and beyond to help protect our communities by social distancing, wearing masks and even adopting new practices like curbside pickup," Alting said. "As our state continues to battle COVID-19, it's important we ensure that the small businesses and other entities in our community are properly protected from frivolous lawsuits when they have followed all of the guidelines given to them. The legal fees alone could lead to a small business having to close their doors and that is certainly something none of us want to see."

SB 1 will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.