Florida's Rush to Pass COVID-19 Liability Shield May Backfire
Senior Policy Advisory Beth Vecchioli spoke with Law360 about efforts by the Florida Legislature to pass COVID-19 liability shields for business and healthcare providers. Proposed bills aim to create higher thresholds for personal injury and wrongful death claims, such as requiring complaints to be pled with particularity and to be accompanied by a sworn affidavit from a physician, in addition to providing immunity to defendants who made good faith prevention efforts. The bills have moved quickly through the House and Senate, drawing some criticism from those who contend lawmakers should focus on fixing the workers' compensation system or providing direct relief for workers and small businesses first. Ms. Vecchioli defended the speed at which the bills are advancing, saying they are a starting point for helping businesses recover.
"I think the chambers have decided these bills are clearly a big priority, which is why they're moving so fast before we even have the first day of session," she remarked. "...You can't have workers and employees unless you have employers. And our economy needs to be churning so that everyone can make a good living and thrive in this environment, and this is just one step towards that."