COVID liability protection a top priority for Associated Industries of Missouri
October 27, 2020 - Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) has been working during and since the last regular session on a statute change that would help prevent frivolous lawsuits launched by plaintiffs' attorneys against employers, manufacturers, health care workers, educators, etc. Other states already passed laws that provide shelter from such lawsuits.
AIM is working with a broad coalition of businesses and business advocacy groups through the Missouri Civil Justice Reform Coalition, led by Rich Aubuchon, to coordinate and maximize our efforts to enact such protections.
On October 8, 2020, AIM President/CEO Ray McCarty sent a letter to Governor Mike Parson requesting the issue be taken up in a special session after the November elections and prior to the start of the regular 2021 Legislative Session in January.
"You asked Missouri businesses to help fight the pandemic by shifting production from whatever the manufacturer normally made to manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) for use by our front-line medical workers and others that were working hard to save lives and fight this terrible disease," said McCarty in the letter. "And manufacturers across the state responded."
"Most employers have done their absolute best to protect their employees, customers, and users of their products by following the ever-evolving guidelines and mandates issued by federal, state, and local governments. Now, these same manufacturers, healthcare providers, retailers, insurers, educators and other employers that are trying to rebuild Missouri’s economy may face frivolous lawsuits from opportunistic attorneys seeking to find a payday for themselves and their clients that have contracted COVID-19. Despite everyone’s best efforts to protect themselves and others, COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease. In most cases, a person does not contract the disease due to any other person’s malicious intent or intentional harm," he continued.
"We ask you to please call an extraordinary session as soon as possible following the November 3, 2020 election for the purpose of considering COVID-19 liability protections for all employers and industries that are doing their best to restore our Missouri economy, educate our students, provide the best healthcare, and provide the services we all need, even as we continue to do our best to fight this disease," said McCarty.
The Governor has since called a special session for the purpose of considering additional spending related to federal COVID-19 funds. That call could be expanded at a later date to include COVID liability protection.
At the appropriate time, we will ask you and other business leaders to contact your legislators, requesting them to convene and provide the changes in statute necessary to protect all our businesses from frivolous lawsuits and we will continue to work hard on your behalf to get this important legislation passed and signed into law.
For an earlier article on this topic, CLICK HERE.