This bill limits liability claims to businesses or other professionals for damage arising out of acts of compliance with government guidance taken during the COVID-19 emergency period. Creates a process for striking a claim early in the legal process.
On March 8, 2020, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19 infections. At the time, there were 14 presumptive or confirmed cases in the state. As of February 23rd, there were nearly 155,000 cases and 2,162 deaths in the state. In response to the COVID-19 emergency, various government entities at state, local, and federal levels, have issued guidance and orders directing social distancing and methods for slowing the spread of coronavirus infection. House Bill 2638 offers liability protection for damages caused by a person acting in reasonable compliance with a COVID-19 guidance applicable to the person’s business or professional services. Liability protection is not extended for actions unrelated to COVID-19, or for those taken in gross negligence, recklessly, wantonly, or intentionally. The measure also does not provide liability protection for workers’ compensation claims, fraud, or false claims brought on behalf of the state.
If business owners are following the rules, they shouldn’t have to worry about being sued.