Small businesses across the country are trying to reopen safely and sustainably while protecting their employees and customers. One key concern for Thomas Ward, owner of Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa in Orlando, Florida, is the fear of COVID-related lawsuits. In his op-ed that ran in the Orlando Sentinel, Ward outlines why Congress needs to pass COVID related liability protections for businesses like his.
“The government has helped businesses with PPP loans and has extended unemployment benefits for those who needed it most,” Ward wrote. “What I need now is for Congress to pass liability protections from COVID-19 lawsuits, so that I, as well as other business owners, can go back to fully focusing on running our businesses.”
“Some people might say I have nothing to worry about if I follow the health and safety guidelines, but they’ve never run a restaurant or fought a slip-and-fall lawsuit,” Ward wrote. “When lawyers get into settlement mode, facts become irrelevant. It’s all about how much it will cost to settle the lawsuit, not about whether the restaurant owner is at fault.”
Ward was also featured in ILR’s recent Faces of Lawsuit Abuse campaign that was aimed at allowing business owners to express their concerns about the possibility of COVID related lawsuits.