Coalition Letter on Liability Relief Legislation

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 12:00pm

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:

          The undersigned chambers of commerce urge Congress to pass timely, temporary and targeted liability relief legislation to provide businesses a safe harbor from unwarranted lawsuits that, left unchecked, will endanger the fight against the pandemic and undermine the safe and orderly return to work for millions of Americans.

          From distillers who switched to producing hand sanitizers, to manufacturers that transformed their operations to construct personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, to front line medical professionals treating the afflicted, to pharmaceutical companies that are expediting research into cures, American businesses have rallied to fight the pandemic. During the stay-at-home orders, essential businesses have remained open and innovated in ways that permitted them to continue to provide critical services and supplies. Now millions of other businesses are in the process of reopening, desiring to do so in a safe manner that protects their employees and customers.

          This is an unprecedented situation and despite employers’ best efforts to comply with public health guidance, many are concerned that they will be forced to defend themselves against a wave of lawsuits. Their concern is driven by the fact that each day brings news of more lawsuits that have already been filed. That is why Congress should provide a safe harbor that holds truly bad actors accountable, but that protects those employers who are working to follow public health guidance.  Specifically, temporary protections should remain in place for the duration of the pandemic crisis and response that cover:

  • Businesses that work to follow government guidelines against COVID-19 exposure claims.
  • Healthcare providers and facilities on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.
  • Manufacturers that repurposed production and distribution to provide PPE, sanitizers, and other needed countermeasures.
  • Companies that have donated their stock of supplies to hospitals and medical professionals.
  • Public companies that could face securities lawsuits, including those driven largely on stock price drops resulting from the global pandemic under the spurious assertion that management failed to warn investors.

          To ensure that we continue to wage war against the pandemic while also safely returning Americans to work, Congress must act without delay.

 

Sincerely,

Business Council of Alabama

Alaska Chamber

Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/AIA

California Chamber of Commerce

Colorado Chamber of Commerce

Connecticut Business & Industry Association

DC Chamber of Commerce

Delaware State Chamber of Commerce

Florida Chamber of Commerce

Georgia Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii

Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Indiana Chamber of Commerce

Iowa Association of Business and Industry

Kansas Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Louisiana Association of Business and Industry

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Maryland Chamber of Commerce

Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Mississippi Economic Council

Missouri Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Montana Chamber of Commerce

Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce

Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire

New Jersey Chamber of Commerce

New Mexico Association of Commerce & Industry

The Business Council of New York State

North Carolina Chamber

Greater North Dakota Chamber

Ohio Chamber of Commerce

State Chamber of Oklahoma

Oregon Business and Industry

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry

Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce

South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Texas Association of Business

Salt Lake Chamber

Vermont Chamber of Commerce

Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Association of Washington Business

West Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Wyoming State Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Chamber of Commerce