Liability Assurance Act
As Michigan’s businesses continue to reopen, the state must provide assurance that they will not be subject to frivolous lawsuits and excessive liability, particularly in fragile economic times. The proposed legislation will also make necessary changes to the MI Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA) and codify employment protections for workers. Please use the module below to reach out to your State Legislators and the Governor and urge them to support HB 6030 – 6032.
The bill has four key components:
Duty of Care for Premise Owners
- The proposed legislation would protect Michigan’s businesses, schools, universities, churches, nonprofit organizations and others from claims alleging that they negligently exposed a visitor to COVID-19.
- The proposed legislation provides that a premise owner is subject to liability only if he or she recklessly disregards a substantial and unnecessary risk that an individual would be exposed to COVID-19, or deliberately exposes a person to the virus.
Safe Harbor for Following Public Health Guidance
- The proposed legislation provides that a business is not liable in a lawsuit alleging that that the steps it took were insufficient to protect a person from exposure to COVID-19 when the business followed public health guidance applicable at that time.
Requiring an Actual Injury
- Just as a person would not sue for contracting the flu at work or while visiting the supermarket, the proposed legislation does not permit lawsuits by those who allege no more than exposure to COVID-19, a diagnosis of COVID-19 without illness, or common flu-like symptoms.
Encouraging Production of Vital Products
- The proposed legislation places a reasonable limit on the liability exposure of anyone who makes, sells, or donates certain needed products for use by government entities, health care providers, first responders, or essential businesses during the pandemic. It also protects companies that retool to make personal protective equipment or household cleaning or disinfecting supplies for the public.
- Any business involved in making, selling, distributing, or donating these products would remain subject to liability if it knew a product was defective.
The Michigan Legislature is taking this bill package up this week, so please act quickly and reach out to your State Legislators and the Governor to urge them to support HB 6030-6032!