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.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Georgia Allows Most Businesses to Reopen to the Public: What Employers Need to Know

Georgia was one of the last states to order nonessential businesses to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 24, 2020, the state became one of the first to allow many nonessential businesses to reopen, including gyms and salons. Starting April 27, the state is allowing most other businesses to reopen to the public.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Update to Various State Construction Closure Orders Related to COVID-19

This list is current as of April 14, 2020 (4:00 p.m. EST) and is and Update to an earlier Alert we posted on April 3rd. Please note that these closure orders are changing almost daily so please make sure you are checking the applicable state in question when considering a closure question.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Brad Molotsky, please visit the Duane Morris Project Development/Infrastructure/P3 Blog.

Crisis Standards of Care Guidelines to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since March 13, 2020, when President Trump declared a national state of emergency due to the COVID-19 crisis, we have been in a healthcare crisis. The United States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been plagued by increasing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), supplies, beds and physicians necessary to care for COVID-19 patients. In addition, drastic patient surges, limited numbers of life-saving ventilators and healthcare providers who have been working tirelessly for weeks in a constant state of emergency all contribute to an extremely strained health system. Not only do more and more patients need care each day, healthcare providers must work quickly to diagnose, triage and treat patients, as well as make difficult decisions on how ventilators are assigned and reassigned. And we have yet to hit the anticipated spikes in COVID-19 cases.

Accordingly, states have either implemented or developed Crisis Standards of Care (CSC). A CSC is triggered when healthcare systems are so overwhelmed by a pervasive or catastrophic public health event, such as COVID-19, that it is impossible for them to provide the normal, or standard, level of care to patients. Instead of meeting the standard of care to avoid liability, providers must now meet the crisis standards of care as set-forth on a statewide basis or adapted by individual facilities.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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