COVID-19 Immunity Legislation

Written by Executive Vice President, Public Policy and Association Affairs, Andy Sandusky

August 21, 2020

POMA joined a chorus of healthcare groups and businesses in support of Senate Bill 1239 which would provide for a targeted level of civil immunity related to COVID-19 for healthcare workers, facilities, and businesses, including those that manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE). The protections are limited in that they do not cover, “gross negligence, recklessness, willful misconduct or intentional infliction of harm.” In other words, a plaintiff would have to prove you went out of your way to put them in harms way. But as a defendant physician, you would be protected by doing your job. More specifically, it is spelled out in the legislation that you, as a physician, would have immunity under scenarios where you may have had lack of equipment, supplies or there were personnel shortages that prevented you from doing your job.

Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne), Chairperson of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is the prime sponsor of the bill. Senator Baker’s committee is tentatively planned to have a hearing sometime in September. POMA will keep you informed of any progress on this legislation.