Capitol Reax: COVID liability protections pass first House committee

COVID-19 liability protections are expected to get the fast track in the 2021 Legislative Session, which begins March 2.

House Speaker Chris Sprowls last week vowed to make the  protections a priority. The House plan, HB 7 by Rep. Lawrence McClure, would extend protections to businesses, schools, nonprofits and religious institutions who make a “good-faith effort” to follow government health guidelines. The protections would apply retroactively to a newly filed lawsuit if signed into law.

On Wednesday, the bill went before the House Civil Justice and Property Rights Subcommittee, earning an affirmative vote.

Several organizations applauded the committee vote.

American Property Casualty Insurance Association

APCIA issued a statement Wednesday evening commending the committee.

“APCIA thanks chair Wyman Duggan, vice chair Juan Alfonso Fernandez-Barquin, and the House Civil Justice and Property Rights Subcommittee for passing House Bill 7, which will provide critical liability protections for Florida businesses,” said Logan McFaddin, APCIA’s assistant vice president of state government relations.

“Florida businesses that conform with pandemic safety guidance to protect their employees and customers should be able to operate without the fear of a COVID-related lawsuit. A mountain of litigation against small businesses trying to operate safely would only slow Florida’s

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