Legislation Introduced to Provide Employer Immunity Against COVID-19-Related Injuries

Sen. Matt Huffman (R-Lima) this week introduced Senate Bill 308 to revise Ohio’s civil liability laws in anticipation of litigation stemming from the pandemic. Sen. Huffman said the bill is needed because litigation might cripple a business as it is set to emerge from the lockdown.

The bill consists of two parts: the first deals with health care industries and the second addresses general business by clarifying immunity would be granted to businesses that are doing something to sustain or help people during an emergency, especially if a person is infected as a result of working at that business.

Together with the Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice, the OMA has been working to develop language that would include immunity for the manufacture of PPE and related safety products. The OMA is grateful to the Senate for making this a priority. A vote could take place soon.

Meanwhile, the House is working on a similar initiative, although the Senate version appears to be more workable for manufacturers. Negotiations are ongoing. Contact the OMA’s Ryan Augsburger for more information. 5/7/2020