STATEHOUSE (Jan. 4, 2021) – Last week, State Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) filed Senate Bill 1, which would provide liability protections to Indiana businesses and individuals if they become involved in a COVID-19 lawsuit.
Senate Bill 1 would provide employers 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, unless the employer or individual's actions contribute gross negligence or willful misconduct.
While there are no confirmed lawsuits of this nature in Indiana at this time, Messmer says Senate Bill 1 would act as a precautionary measure, ensuring no Hoosier businesses are overwhelmed and forced to cease operations by such an accusation.
"Many Hoosier businesses, especially small businesses, are already struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and these costly accusations could very well put a reputable company out of business," Messmer said. "I don't anticipate a large number of cases like this, but it's important we prepare and protect factories, local shops, restaurants, houses of worship and other organizations so Hoosiers can maintain their jobs and our economy can continue to recover."
The 2021 legislative session ceremonially began with Organization Day on Nov. 17. The Senate is scheduled to reconvene for session Jan. 4.
Click here for a high-resolution photo of Messmer.