The Mountain State is moving forward with COVID liability protections. This week, the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate passed Senate Bill 277 with bipartisan support. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.
As passed, the bill will provide liability protections for businesses, schools, and other organizations working to support their communities during this pandemic. Importantly, it ensures that anyone injured by truly bad actors will be able to seek justice through the state’s courts.
With this key move, West Virginia will become the 36th state to offer liability protections for responsible organizations, which will help small businesses and others who’ve been hit hardest by the pandemic focus on recovering and rebuilding.
Recent research released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform shows that the smallest businesses bear a disproportionate burden of tort costs, even under more normal circumstances. As small businesses struggle to survive the pandemic, the last thing they can afford is an abusive COVID-related lawsuit.
This legislation will provide certainty for businesses and cornerstone cultural institutions that remained open during the pandemic. We applaud the state’s lawmakers for stepping up and getting it done and appreciate the public support for this bill from Gov. Jim Justice, who is expected to sign it into law quickly.