Burgum signs bill protecting North Dakotans and businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits
BISMARCK, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Governor Doug Burgum signed legislation on Friday that creates liability protections for health care providers, businesses and others from lawsuits related to exposure to COVID-19.
Burgum said North Dakota health care providers and businesses did their best to protect their patients, customers and team members through extremely challenging conditions and ever-changing rules and recommendations during the pandemic.
“It’s important that we provide common-sense protections for those North Dakotans who were doing everything they could,” Burgum said before signing the bill. “Legislation like House Bill 1175 will protect these businesses, organizations, medical providers and educational providers from frivolous lawsuits arising from COVID-19 exposure, while still allowing claims in situations that involved ill intentions or reckless acts.”
House Bill 1175 protects health care providers, businesses and other facilities from civil liability for any act in response to COVID-19 that causes or contributes to the death or injury of a person. It also protects an individual who designs, manufactures, labels, sells and distributes disinfecting or cleaning supplies that protect from COVID-19, from civil liability for personal injury, death or property damage.
The bill does not protect against actions that constitute willful and wanton misconduct, or reckless or intentional infliction of harm.
The legislation applies retroactively to January 1, 2020, covering the entire COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill was approved 77-17 in the House and 41-6 in the Senate.
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