On September 14, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 606, otherwise known as the “Good Samaritan Expansion Bill,” into law to protect people and businesses from tort liability lawsuits stemming from virus transmissions. This law retroactively applies from March 9, 2020, in accordance with Executive Order 2020-01D, and through September 30, 2021.
Across the nation, a rising tide of tort lawsuits have flooded courts, entangling business in litigation surrounding coronavirus transmission. House Bill 606 prevents this practice. The Ohio General Assembly sought to provide certainty to businesses that are re-opening. The legislature recognizes that COVID-19 is a fluid disease and the “best practices” have shifted as more knowledge of the virus is obtained. The purpose of House Bill 606 is to prevent lawsuits against people and businesses for coronavirus transmission. Expressly, House Bill 606 protects persons and business, absent reckless or intentional conduct, from lawsuits seeking damages as a result of transmission of COVID-19.
Lastly, the reach of the “Good Samaritan Expansion Bill” is not solely isolated to re-opening business, but also protects health care professionals from disciplinary conduct for their actions, absent gross negligence, as a result of treating the coronavirus. In short, the “Good Samaritan Expansion Bill” seeks to provides solace, certainty, and stability to reopening businesses from tort liability from COVID–19 transmission.
If you would like further clarification or have any questions regarding House Bill 606, please contact one of Mansour Gavin’s Civil Litigation attorneys.