Bassler: New bill gives Hoosier businesses the confidence to reopen

From the Office of Indiana Senator Eric Bassler – District 39:

A bill that will protect businesses, organizations and individuals from frivolous coronavirus-related lawsuits was recently signed into law by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.

“The vast majority of Indiana’s businesses and organizations have done a great job maintaining a safe environment throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In return, Senate Enrolled Act 1, which I co-authored, will protect these entities from lawsuits seeking to make them liable for the spread of COVID-19, and I am pleased to see this legislation signed into law,” State Senator Eric Bassler recently said.

SEA 1 will help businesses, schools, churches, not-for-profit organizations and individuals by giving them immunity from civil liability for damages if, for example, someone is exposed to COVID -19 on their property or during an activity they organized. It will also provide protections for manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE) if a suit is brought against the PPE product itself.

This legislation will not protect bad actors, though, as liability protection is specifically denied in cases of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

The immunity provided by SEA 1 is set to last through 2024 – long enough to give groups across the state peace of mind about fully reopening, but also giving the General Assembly a chance to revisit the issue in the future if needed.

“Providing liability protection is one of the most important things my colleagues and I in the General Assembly can do to help businesses — especially local small businesses — remain open and keep people employed during this pandemic.” Bassler concluded.

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