House Passes Civil Immunity Bill

[May 28, 2020]

The House of Representatives approved legislation, 83-9, that grants civil immunity to health care workers, businesses, and others who provide essential services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Specifically, HB 606 grants civil immunity to a person who provides services for essential businesses and operations for injury, death, or loss that was caused by the transmission of COVID-19 during the period of emergency declared by Executive Order 2020-01D, which was issued on March 9. The bill also provides qualified immunity to physicians and a wide range of health care workers who provide services during a declared disaster or emergency; makes prison staff, grocery-store workers, and first-responders eligible for workers’ compensation should they become infected; and shields state and local governments from coronavirus-related suits.

The bill includes an emergency clause, which means it would become effective immediately upon the governor’s signature. HB 606 now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. That chamber is already considering similar legislation, SB 308.

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