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February 17, 2021 7:29am

Indiana passes bill protecting businesses from COVID lawsuits

The Indiana General Assembly has sent a bill to Governor’s Eric Holcomb’s office that would provide civil liability protections for businesses from COVID related lawsuits. GLI strongly supported this legislation, working with a coalition of business organizations throughout the state and urging Hoosier lawmakers from the Greater Louisville region to vote in favor of it. The Kentucky General Assembly is considering similar legislation to support Kentucky employers.  

Senate Bill 1 in Indiana provides businesses with a reasonable level of civil immunity from alleged damages arising from COVID-19 except in cases in which “clear and convincing evidence” can illustrate gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. The bill seeks to protect businesses that have followed public safety guidelines to keep employees, customers, and vendors safe from the virus. The protections apply to a wide range of different business types and organizations, and special protections are afforded to businesses that have produced PPE throughout the pandemic. Senate Bill 1 is retroactive to March 1, 2020. 

GLI is also backing key legislation in Kentucky that would provide a similar level of protections for Kentucky businesses. Senate President Robert Stivers has filed Senate Bill 5, which would ensure that the threat of lawsuits would not slow down Kentucky’s economic recovery. Senate Bill 5 passed out of committee last week and awaits a vote by the full Senate.