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Last week, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) signed legislation (SF 2338) that protects business owners and employees from COVID-19-related liability lawsuits. ABC of Iowa supported the bill, which protects business owners from coronavirus liability lawsuits while excepting lawsuits against individuals who recklessly or intentionally put others at risk.

The bill, which mainly targets healthcare industries—such as nursing homes, healthcare facilities and manufacturing facilities that sell or make personal protective equipment—continues a trend of liability protections that have been passed around the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic. To date, at least 13 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislative remedies that limit liability lawsuits, although each bill differs in terms of the industries that it applies to and the exceptions permitted to initiative a lawsuit. Additionally, some governors have issued executive orders that outline liability protections for business owners. The Iowa legislation applies retroactively to Jan. 1, 2020.  

For a complete roundup of liability protections that have been introduced and passed at the state level in response to the coronavirus, this free resource is available from the National Conference of State Legislatures. To access the list of liability legislation, scroll down to the graphic titled “COVID-19 State Legislation Database.” From there, scroll down in the left-hand column and select “Fiscal: Liability” to access the full list of legislation.

ABC will continue to update members on the latest updates on this legislation in Newsline.