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COVID-19 General Liability Legislation Extension to Healthcare Providers

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Shortly after the introduction of the COVID-19 general liability bill, (HB 7 and SB 72) in an effort to protect businesses from frivolous lawsuits, Senate Judiciary Chairman Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg introduced Senate Bill 74, COVID-19-related Claims Against Health Care Providers, which creates an extension of broad immunity to hospitals, physicians and facilities from coronavirus lawsuits. The proposed legislation is a reaction to the COVID-19 general liability bill, which specifically excludes the health care industry. Other states have introduced similar legislation extending immunity provisions to health care workers and facilities. However, a point of contention for the newly introduced legislation is the accountability of nursing homes which are widespread throughout Florida.

Senate Bill 74 (SB 74) was introduced on February 3, 2021 and quickly moved through a Florida Senate committee, despite warnings from opponents that the legislation could hinder people from pursing legitimate claims against medical providers. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 to advance the bill, which is anticipated to be a top priority for legislators during session.

Despite the popularity of the COVID-19 general liability bill, Senate Bill 74 has generated greater criticism and opposition out of concerns that Florida citizens with legitimate health care claims may struggle […]

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