NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - One of the first topics state lawmakers will consider during the special legislative session that began Monday will be COVID-19 liability protection.
Proposed legislation would protect schools, churches and businesses from COVID-19 related lawsuits.
“We have business owners all across this state. It’s important for them they don’t have this looming over their head. What if some frivolous lawsuit comes after them and hurts and shuts down their business,” said Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, who supports the bill.
Democratic lawmakers like Rep. Harold Love Jr. want to know the extent the liability would go to in the proposal.
“We certainly want to make sure citizens are protected,” said Love, D-Nashville. “We want to make sure that businesses can open back up, but we also want to make sure there’s some assurance to make sure that everybody’s in lockstep and doing the right thing.”
There’s also the question about whether the bill will be retroactive.
“I think that’s one thing we will discuss this week is what measures have been taken to make sure things do line up with what we already have in place and also to make sure the legislation can be implemented properly,” said Love.
Tennessee lawmakers are in special session addressing a number of COVID-19-related issues including possibly expanding liability protections for businesses and entities against lawsuits involving the virus.
Rep. William Lamberth, R-Cottontown, explained how the bill would work. He’s the sponsor of the bill.
“This bill goes into effect for all lawsuits that are filed after the call of the session,” said Lambert. “So there is, in essence, no retroactivity as part of this. It doesn’t affect any of the lawsuits that are already out there in the pipeline. This just simply sets a new standard from this point forward.”
The special session is expected to go until Wednesday afternoon.