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May 18, 2020

Congress Needs To Protect Businesses From A COVID Litigation Pandemic

When the Senate debates the next stimulus package, members will almost certainly discuss whether or not to include liability protections for businesses affected by COVID-19, according to a report in Court House News Service. A COVID-19 liability shield to protect businesses – except in cases involving “gross negligence or willful misconduct” – has broad support from the public according to a recent ILR poll. A group of 21 state attorneys general has called for similar protections. The idea behind such safe harbors is to kill baseless litigation in the crib.

“The name of the game here is to get past the motion to dismiss,” Harold Kim, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform said, noting many tort lawyers aim to merely scare companies into settling lawsuits quickly. “The amount of discovery and litigation costs, you have to pay for attorneys and the amount of time that’s taken just to defend the case for the business is where damage is done.”

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