New Report is Part of Series Examining COVID Litigation Impact

WASHINGTON- Liability protections for businesses that follow health guidelines, and protections for makers and users of products needed to fight COVID-19 are two of the recommendations that the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) makes today in its newly released report outlining how Congress can work to limit COVID-related litigation abuse.   

ILR Briefly, COVID-19 Series: Federal Problems and Solutions looks at four major liability issues and possible federal legislative and administrative solutions for businesses of all sizes that are vulnerable to needless litigation. It also discusses what Congress can do to ensure those lawsuits don’t hamper good faith efforts to return to work and life. The report is part of a new series created to highlight how litigation, if left unchecked, will challenge our economic recovery after this pandemic.  

“These recommendations are targeted, temporary and timely and will continue the good work Congress started when it extended liability protections to hardworking, volunteer healthcare workers and respirator manufacturers,” said Harold Kim, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. 

A new survey released by the Institute for Legal Reform shows that large majorities of Americans across the political spectrum believe Congress should enact lawsuit protections for employers. The full survey can be accessed here.

“Limiting litigation abuse for employers as they figure out how to reopen safely and sustainably must be a priority for policymakers,” continued Kim.  

There are four key things Congress can do immediately to curtail needless, abusive or opportunistic COVID-related lawsuits:   

  • Protect businesses that follow government health guidelines and standards unless they were grossly negligent or engaged in intentional misconduct.   
  • Protect companies that make much-needed protective equipment to fight COVID-19, companies that donate these products, and people who use these products. 
  • Protect the frontline healthcare workers and facilities from having to defend against medical liability lawsuits unless they were grossly negligent or engaged in intentional misconduct.   
  • Protect companies from abusive securities lawsuits that are based on the drops in their share price due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus.       

“Business owners were given a much-needed financial lifeline from lawmakers because they understood no business or family should go bankrupt because of this unprecedented crisis,” explained Kim. “Now, lawmakers must pass targeted and temporary measures, so businesses don’t go bankrupt from abusive COVID-related litigation.”