Georgia Passes Bill Limiting COVID-19-Related Liability for Businesses

Although Georgia joined several other states in urging Congress to provide a liability shield on a national level, Georgia did not wait to protect its businesses. On August 5, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp signed the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act, which took effect immediately. The act amends Georgia’s tort claims law to provide new definitions, exceptions and a presumption against liability. The act provides a general shield against liability as long as the businesses did not act with gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, or reckless or intentional disregard. At first glance, the law appears focused on healthcare as it applies to any “healthcare facility, healthcare provider, entity, or individual.” However, the term “entity” is defined very broadly to include most businesses.

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