AG Slatery Urges Congress To Consider Pandemic Liability Protections

Thursday, August 6, 2020
Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III, along with 21 other state attorneys general, co-signed a letter to Congress urging the adoption of the protections contained in the Safe to Work Act. The legislation would help mitigate the threat of frivolous COVID-related litigation for much-needed goods and services while still ensuring victims have legal options where appropriate. The extension of reasonable civil liability protections is needed at both the state and federal levels for businesses, manufacturers of personal protective equipment, first responders, healthcare workers, healthcare facilities, members of law enforcement and other individuals and entities. 
 
“Tennessee businesses, non-profits, and schools that are taking the proper precautions in the COVID-19 environment should be able to move forward without the fear of fighting meritless lawsuits,” said General Slatery.
“The Safe To Work Act is a step in the right direction for the health of our state.”
 
An excerpt from the letter is below:
 
"We know that in order for our economy to fully recover, customers and employees have to have the confidence to return to the marketplace, students need to be able to safely return to school, and at the same time, entities of all types that follow applicable guidelines need to be protected from devastating civil liability litigation concerning baseless COVID-related claims.  Therefore, we are encouraged by this common-sense framework to provide federal liability protections for much-needed goods and services while still ensuring victims are able to seek legal redress and compensation where appropriate.
As you are probably aware, states across the country have taken steps to address the need for timely, targeted and temporary civil liability protections in light of the pandemic, but the need for a uniform national baseline of liability protection still exists. As such, we are very encouraged by the introduction and consideration of this important framework for federal pandemic liability protections while still preserving states’ autonomy to tailor protections based on each one’s unique circumstances. 
 
If adopted, these important protections will lead to meaningful results for our states, and we look forward to supporting the implementation of this type of legislation in any way we can."
 
Joining Tennessee, the following state attorneys general also signed on to the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. 
 
To read the letter, go to https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/attorneygeneral/documents/pr/2020/pr20-30-letter.pdf.

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