State senator files bill to curb COVID-19 lawsuits

Published: May. 12, 2020 at 7:25 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WAFF) - A bill in Montgomery is designed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic’s consequences to the courtroom.

Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, filed Senate Bill 330, which protects businesses, religious organizations and other gathering places from civil lawsuits related to COVID-19 if they follow state and federal safety guidelines.

He said the bill is meant to deter attorneys from filing mass lawsuits, and costing businesses.

“They may not be able to totally prove their case but the defendant will say it’s cheaper or less costly for us to just settle this case,” he said.

The bill would also protect health care personnel and clinics from similar lawsuits.

The bill would reinforce Gov. Kay Ivey’s order, which also aimed to curb lawsuits surrounding the pandemic.

“Advisors and attorneys tell me that in Alabama under our constitution they have serious doubt if that executive order will provide real protection in the courtroom,” Orr said.

Investigate TV found employees and their families have sued cruise lines, meat packing plants and even Walmart over COVID deaths.

Orr said he will push for the bill to be taken up in a special session.

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