Fla. Lawmakers File Bills To Raise Bar For COVID-19 Suits
Senior Policy Advisor Beth Vecchioli was cited in a Law360 article about bills filed in the Florida Legislature that set requirements for COVID-19-related lawsuits against businesses. Senate Bill 72 and its identical House Bill 7 specify requirements for pleadings — including that a complaint must be accompanied by an affidavit signed by an active physician stating that the alleged damages were the result of the defendant's "acts or omissions" — and provide immunity to defendants who have made good faith efforts to comply with health standards and guidelines. Ms. Vecchioli clarified that these bills do not prevent lawsuits from being filed against businesses but instead "raise the bar" for what evidence a plaintiff must produce to be successful.
"This pandemic is unprecedented and businesses have struggled to keep their doors open while trying to make a good faith effort to comply with the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines pertaining to COVID-19 so that their employees and customers can be protected," she said.