Industries & Practices



    COVID-19 Business Reopening Liability Issues

    As states begin to reopen businesses and ease stay at home orders, a new question of liability arises for companies that are open and risking exposure of the coronavirus to customers and employees. Additionally, issues are arising from companies retooling their core business to respond to needs in the time of a pandemic, including PPEs, sanitizer, food and other sundries. 

    Below is a list of links to the most recent reports on what federal and state governments are doing to respond to these issues, ease business fears and protect consumers. 


    SB 330  Relates to civil immunity; provides legislative findings; provides definitions; provides civil immunity for certain entities and individuals from certain damages claimed by individuals who allege that they contracted or were exposed to Coronavirus during a declared state of emergency; provides civil immunity for certain health care providers relating to the performance of certain health care services or treatment during the Coronavirus pandemic; provides for a statute of limitations for certain claims. Pending.


    HB 2912 Relates to coronavirus, relates to civil liability, relates to evidence, relates to penalties. Pending.


    HB 529 Provides civil immunity for architects, engineers and contractors during disasters in response to a declared national, state or local emergency, disaster or catastrophic event. Enacted. 


    SB 435 Provides relative to certain immunity from civil liability during state of emergencies. Pending.

    SB 445 Provides limited civil liability for medical personnel and health care providers during public health emergencies. Pending. 

    SB 489 Provides relative to limitation of liability of governmental entities which require its employees to work during a declared state of emergency. Pending.

    SB 491  Limits liability of persons who provide relief or recovery equipment or services during a declared state emergency. Pending.

    SB 508 Limits liability for restaurants that provide food-to-go during a state declared emergency. Pending.

    HB 745 Provides for limited liability for medical services rendered during a state of emergency. Pending. 

    HB 778 Provides for the limitation of liability during a declaration of a state of public health emergency. Pending.

    HB 826 Provides limited liability for health care providers, certain real estate owners and certain private persons, firms or corporations during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Pending. 

    HB 856 Provides relative to limitations of liability related to the preparation, conditions or delivery of food or other supplies in good faith in response to the COVID-19 state of emergency. Pending.


    SB 2630  Provides liability protections for health care workers and facilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Pending. 

    SB 2635 Provides liability protections for health care workers and facilities during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Pending. 

    SB 2640 Provides liability protections for health care workers and facilities during the coronavirus pandemic, extends such protections to volunteer organizations. Enacted.

    SB 2700 Provides liability protections for contractors, sub-contractors and unions during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Pending. 

    HB 4659 Provides that certain institutions of higher education offering emergency aid in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 be immune from suit and liability. Pending.


    SB 899 Provides immunity from civil or criminal liability during a declared emergency for certain health care workers. Pending.


    SF 4606  Relates to civil actions; limits liability for products and supplies made, sold, or donated in response to Coronavirus disease 2019; provides minimum injury requirements for claims related to Coronavirus disease 2019; addresses premises liability related to Coronavirus disease 2019; precludes liability when conduct complies with government-issued guidance related to Coronavirus disease 2019. Pending.


    SB 662 Defines shelf-stable packaged food as any food that can be safely stored in a sealed package at room temperature for usefully long shelf life, including packaged venison that has been processed by heat or dried to destroy foodborne microorganisms. Additionally, this act protects a good faith donor or a charitable or not-for-profit organization from criminal or civil liability arising from an injury or death due to shelf-stable packaged food, including venison, if such food was received in good faith. Pending.

    New Jersey

    SB 2333 Provides civil and criminal immunity to certain health care professionals and health care facilities during a public health emergency and state of emergency; facilitates the issuance of certain temporary licenses and certifications during a public health emergency and state of emergency. Enacted.

    AB 3951 Provides civil immunity for an employer for damages arising from an employee's injury or death related to exposure to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during a public health emergency and state of emergency declared by the governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020. Pending. 

    New York

    SB 8232 Amends the General Business Law, provides restrictions for any company, corporation, association, partnership, limited liability company, individual, business or location that was issued a violation, summons, or complaint for price gouging associated with the novel coronavirus, coronavirus emergency. Pending.

    SB 8351 Provides that no personal liability provision of a commercial lease or other rental agreement involving real property and to which a business impacted by coronavirus is a party as tenant may be enforced against an individual where the default or other event allowing for such enforcement occurs during the coronavirus period. Pending.


    SB 308 Regards civil liability of service providers in an emergency. Pending. 

    HB 606 Grants civil immunity to a person who provides services for essential businesses and operations for injury, death or loss that was caused by the transmission of COVID-19 during the period of emergency declared by Executive Order 2020-01D, issued on March 9, 2020, and to declare an emergency. Pending. 


    SB 300 Creates the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Limited Liability Act. Enacted.

    SB 1946  Establishes immunity from civil liability for persons or entities conducting in the business in the state from actions related to an injury from exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 if the act or omission alleged to violate a duty of care of the person or agent was in compliance or consistent with federal or state regulations. Pending.

    SB 1947  Relates to product liability; creates the Coronavirus Product Protection Act. Pending.


    HR 872 Encourages food donations, recognizes the importance of liability protections under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and the Donated Food Limited Liability Act during the Coronavirus pandemic. Pending. 


    SB 3007 Provides legal immunity for damages or an injury resulting from exposure of an individual to COVID-19 on the premises owned or operated by the person or during an activity managed by the person. Enacted.


    AB 1038 Relates to the state government response to the coronavirus pandemic; authorizes limited autopsies for the death of an inmate due to COVID-19; establishes a civil liability exemption for persons who manufacture, distribute or sell emergency medical supplies to respond to the public health emergency. Enacted.