To mitigate financial losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more locations across the country have been reopening or returning to standard levels of service. In the process, a variety of questions have emerged, including whether an individual or organization can be held legally responsible for the transmission of the disease. House Bill 606 seeks to clarify just that.
What Is Protected by House Bill 606?
The primary goal of the bill is to protect various parties against becoming inundated with lawsuits as the virus continues to spread, which could negatively impact their ability to serve the community.
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Multiple scenarios have occurred where, despite precautions taken and without malicious intent, the virus has been transmitted. Under House Bill 606, parties covered by the bill—including health care providers, businesses, schools, and individuals—are granted temporary legal immunity from civil lawsuits involving COVID-19 infection.
House Bill 606 provides protections, allowing parties to focus on providing the best level of care possible during a time when resources are already spread thin. At the same time, it shifts some of the responsibility to the customers and recipients of the services offered. Nursing home residents, school students, work employees, and others would be unable to take legal action against respective institutions for contracting COVID-19. These special protections are being enacted due to very specific, current circumstances and are due to expire at the end of the year.
What Is Not Protected by House Bill 606?
If you are witness to gross negligence, you may be within your rights to file a lawsuit. House Bill 606 is not a carte blanche to act with dangerous impunity.
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The expectation is that with the bill in place, front line workers will be further empowered to continue to act in good faith and protect the health of the public. Organizations and individuals are still required to comply with government-issued orders. Failing to do so could result in legal action. Such government-issued orders include guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation measures, as determined by the state. Any violation of those guidelines is not protected.
Such violations can result in severe harm to individuals as well as the larger community. If you believe an organization or employee has defied a direct government order, contact our office now at 419-843-6663 or reach out to us online.
We can schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation with an experienced Michigan and Ohio personal injury attorney.