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Messmer: COVID-19 liability protections passes Senate

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

Senate Bill 1 provides 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.

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

"SB 1 acts as a precautionary measure to help protect Hoosiers and stimulate the safe reopening of our economy," Messmer said. "Indiana businesses, organizations and individuals have all made sacrifices during the pandemic for the good of our state and they should not have to operate in fear of a COVID-19 lawsuit."

SB 1 will now be heard by the House of Representatives.