Ohio Enacts Law Limiting Liability for COVID-19 Related Claims
On September 14, 2020, Governor DeWine signed HB 606, which provides a liability shield for employers from state-level civil actions brought by customers, employees, or others “for damages for injury, death, or loss.”
What are the details?
HB 606, like other COVID-19 liability shield laws, does not provide absolute protection. If the plaintiff can establish that the exposure, transmission, or contraction was by reckless conduct, intentional misconduct, or willful or wanton misconduct on the part of the person against whom the action is brought against, they can proceed with the civil action.
The law provides that any new local and state laws will not provide any changes to tort laws related to COVID-19. Additionally, the law will protect healthcare providers as well from liability in tort actions.
An article going over the bill in more depth can be found here.
HB 606 can be found here.
What do employers need to do?
Ohio employers should review this law and their workplace policies with their employment attorney to determine what policies they may have to change to take full advantage of this laws protections.