COLUMBUS, Ohio (WANE) – On Monday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill that ensures civil immunity against lawsuits surrounding exposure, transmission or contraction of COVID-19 or any mutation of the virus.
House Bill 606, sponsored by Representative Diane Grendell, ensures civil immunity to individuals, schools, health care providers, businesses and other entities from lawsuits due to exposure, transmission or contraction of COVID-19. This protection is extended as long as an individual was not showing reckless, intentional or willful misconduct. The law also includes any mutation of the virus, as long as those protected were not showing “reckless, intentional or willful misconduct.”
The bill also protects health care providers from liability in actions regarding the care and services provided during the pandemic, again, unless the individual or organization was acting recklessly or displaying intentional misconduct.
The signing of the law has many schools and businesses breathing a sigh of relief.
“Ohio businesses stepped up when asked to help with this pandemic crisis and we are pleased that the Senate and House, along with the governor, have acted to help protect jobs and our economy,” said Andrew Boebrel, president & CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
“On behalf of Ohio’s public universities, the Inter-University Council of Ohio thanks you for your support for House Bill 606, which will provide to Ohio’s public universities appropriate liability protection from litigation arising from the coronavirus. We appreciate the action you took today to sign the bill so that it becomes law for the state of Ohio,” said Bruce Johnson, president & CEO of the Inter-University Council of Ohio.
“On behalf of the 1,200 members of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA), we thank you for signing House Bill (HB) 606 into law today, September 14, 2020. In a time of uncertainty, Ohio’s educational leaders are working tirelessly so that our children can learn in safe, supportive environments. HB 606 provides additional protections for Ohio’s schools as they seek to return students to the classroom and to as much normalcy as possible. Thank you for your sensitivity to the countless challenges our schools are facing. Your support of HB 606 is one of the many ways you have partnered with Ohio’s schools to help them navigate the unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kirk Hamilton, Ph.D., executive director of Ohio’s Superintendent Association.
Gov. DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof and Ohio Speaker of the House Robert Cupp via video conference during the announcement.