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PA Hospitals Join Businesses Across State in Calling for Federal Temporary Liability Protections

August 06, 2020

This week, HAP joined more than 50 businesses representing business, nonprofit, education, and healthcare communities across the state in calling for members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation to support targeted and temporary protections that are provided in the federal “SAFE TO WORK Act” (S. 4317).

The Act would discourage insubstantial lawsuits relating to COVID–19 while preserving the ability of individuals and businesses that have suffered real injury to obtain complete relief.

The joint letter states, “For the foreseeable future, employers will be subject to strict workplace health and safety requirements and those who adopt these precautions should proceed with confidence knowing they will not be targeted with frivolous, and potentially devastating, litigation. On the other hand, those who act with gross negligence or disregard safety precautions should not be protected and we support robust enforcement against bad actors or irresponsible employers.”

During May, HAP, along with a coalition of organizations representing Pennsylvania health care providers, sent a letter to members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation calling for such legislation.

At the state level, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) introduced Senate Bill 1239 to provide protections to health care practitioners and facilities from predatory lawsuits during the COVID-19 response. The HAP-supported bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

As Congress and the Trump Administration negotiate a fifth relief package to address the public health crisis and offer economic stimulus, the U.S. Senate included crucial liability protections among their policy priorities in a series of bills. Legislation passed by the U.S. House in May did not include similar provisions.

For more information, contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s senior vice president, strategic integration, or Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.