New Georgia Law Provides Limited Immunity Against COVID-19 Damage Claims

On June 26, 2020, the Georgia legislature passed SB 359, entitled “Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act”, which provides immunity to healthcare facilities, healthcare providers, and others, from claims for damages due to “transmission, infection, exposure or potential exposure” of COVID-19, except in cases of  “gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm.” The immunity is limited in time, affecting only causes of action arising after the Governor signs it, and continuing until July 14, 2021.

It also provides immunity for claims related to “Manufacturing, labeling, donating, or distributing personal protective equipment or sanitizer that is directly related to providing such personal protective equipment or sanitizer to claimant by any entity during a public health state of emergency for COVID-19, which departs from the normal manufacturing, labeling, donating, or distributing personal protective equipment of such entity that proximately results in injury to or death of a claimant.”

Click here to view the final version, as passed.

It creates a new chapter in Title 51 (relating to torts), O.C.G.A. Sec. 51-16-1 to 51-16-5.

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