As businesses are allowed to reopen, many business owners have expressed concerns about the risk of frivolous lawsuits seeking damages from COVID-19 infection as such lawsuits have been reported around the state. The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce joined a coalition of 80 chambers of commerce throughout the Commonwealth in sending a letter to Pennsylvania’s federal and state lawmakers urging support for safe harbor protections for employers related to COVID-19. Gene Barr, PA Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO, issued the following statement.
“Pennsylvania employers have faced unimaginable challenges during this pandemic, the mandatory business shutdown and resulting economic fallout. Many now face the threat of unwarranted, opportunistic lawsuits, including hospitals and many healthcare professionals bravely treating patients, companies who have been working to keep our critical supply chains intact, manufacturers producing personal protective equipment and others on the front lines. Businesses that have stayed open to serve communities, as well as those who were forced to shut down but have managed to survive, should feel confident that if they take the necessary steps to comply with public health and safety guidelines, they are protected from unscrupulous plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking to profit from this disaster.”
“Pennsylvania employers have the talent, ingenuity and grit to rebound and rebuild, but they need smart policies out of Harrisburg and Washington D.C. to help remove obstacles to economic recovery. We urge Pennsylvania’s lawmakers to recognize this particular significant obstacle, as well as the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania employers depending on them to act.”
“Pennsylvania’s chambers of commerce are effective and passionate advocates for the businesses in their communities. Employers should be proud and lawmakers should take heed that so many chambers from throughout the Commonwealth have come together to support a most critical issue at this most critical time.”