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Legislature limits civil liability of healthcare facilities related to COVID-19

Healthcare facilities which followed applicable public health guidance in good faith in treating patients are now immune from civil liability for COVID-19-related lawsuits, under recently enacted legislation.

Senate Bill 3049, authored by former Sen. Sally Doty, of Brookhaven, also extends protection to first responders, schools or other educational entities, non-profit organizations and businesses.  Businesses which manufactured personal protective equipment in response to the virus are also covered.

“The last thing our hospitals and others, many of whom have employees who have put themselves at great personal risk, need is to be faced with unfounded legal claims,” Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said. “Right now, we need our healthcare workers, businesses and communities focused on health and safety, and recovery.”

The legislation includes a two-year statute of limitations for any legitimate claim, and backdates to March 14, 2020 — the date the Governor’s original emergency declaration was issued.

The provisions do not apply where there is clear and convincing evidence of actual malice or intentional behavior.

To view the legislation or for more information, visit http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2020/pdf/history/SB/SB3049.xml.