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Filler Moving On COVID Protection For Business

August 18, 2020

The Republican House Judiciary Committee chair wants to hold a hearing “ASAP” to protect businesses and universities from the inevitable lawsuits tied to allegations that they’re not protecting customers or students from COVID-19.

“There is huge support for this,” Rep. Graham Filler (R-DeWitt) told MIRS. In an interesting twist, he said he believes the Governor’s office will not oppose this, even though the popular wisdom in town would suggest just the opposite. 
 
“Her office has never expressed opposition to this,” he said and “I’m waiting for them to engage . . . I don’t think she would veto it.” 
 
Those who do oppose the package of bills contend the student or customer will lose all their rights to sue for damages but Filler said they would retain the right to sue for “gross negligence.”  
 
However, as long as the schools and businesses are following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) safety guidelines, he said he thinks they should have this immunity otherwise “it only takes one jury and one judge” to rule against these entities, and that will have a “chilling effect” and lead to bankruptcy for some. 
 
The DeWitt Republican reported he has the Democratic support of Rep. Wendell BYRD (D-Detroit) because, “he is concerned for all of the black business owners in his Detroit district.”  
 
Pressed on when the first hearing might be held, he would only say, “It’s the number one piece of legislation for 2020” in the midst of this pandemic.

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