Vote Expected Tuesday On Bill To Offer Protection From COVID-Related Lawsuits

Aug 31, 2020

Ohio lawmakers will hold a final vote next week on a bill that would shield first responders, businesses and schools from coronavirus-related lawsuits from patients, customers or students.

Rep. Diane Grendell (R-Geauga County) calls this a “good Samaritan bill”.

She said it would protect responsible businesses, entities and workers from what she calls frivolous lawsuits that could come from following state cleanliness guidelines all the way to making life-and-death decisions on who gets medical supplies.

“If you're reckless or if you do something intentionally, you aren't covered," Grendell said. "It's a very low standard, but it's only for COVID and it's only for protecting the people who are making the quick decisions.”

Grendell, who thinks businesses and schools should all be open, noted there was little opponent testimony and only a handful of no votes.

“We had two opponents that were from nursing homes saying that it let everybody have free reign. And no, it doesn't," Grendell said. "It's only for COVID and they’re not protected if they're reckless or if they do something intentionally to harm somebody with COVID.”

The House must approve Senate changes to the bill before it can go to Gov. Mike DeWine, who supports the idea.