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General Assembly Sends COVID-19 Liability Protections to Governor’s Desk

November 20, 2020

Last night, the state Senate voted on a measure proposed by Senator Lisa Baker (R–Luzerne), which would protect providers and facilities, the business community, and education entities from frivolous COVID-19 lawsuits. Today, the state House of Representatives approved the measure by a vote of 104 to 98, sending the bill to Governor Wolf.

The bill, House Bill 1737 sponsored by Representative Barb Gleim (R–Cumberland), would grant going forward a protection against negligence claims during the care of COVID-19 patients or others where COVID-19’s presence in a hospital or other medical facility had an impact on an outcome in a particular patient’s case. The bill includes other elements which would provide liability protections to businesses and personal protective equipment manufacturers. The legislation does not provide liability protections for acts of gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional act. 

HAP worked with a large coalition of stakeholders including the business community, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and the Pennsylvania School Board Association, on portions of the adopted language.

Governor Wolf has not expressed whether he will sign the legislation, veto, or let it become law without his signature. 

HAP supports the legislation and calls on the Governor to allow House Bill 1737 to become law. 

For more information contact Warren Kampf, HAP’s senior vice president, advocacy and external affairs.