MADISON – Over 60 business associations, non-profits and local chambers of commerce sent a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday asking them to sign on and support legislation that would shield Wisconsin businesses, schools, universities and other entities from the threat of predatory lawsuits alleging liability for COVID-19 exposures. The bill – LRB-6434/2 – is currently being circulated by Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) and Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown).
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) was joined by the Wisconsin chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council and dozens of other organizations.
“The legislation would create a safe harbor for all property owners/occupants who are good actors against frivolous lawsuits alleging a plaintiff was infected with COVID-19 at a specific premises,” the letter reads. “The bill is not business community specific and would protect homeowners, non-profits, schools, universities, and any other premises including outdoor events and festivals. The safe harbor would not protect bad actors. An entity would lose the liability exemption if they knowingly violated a public health order or spread COVID-19 by acting in a reckless, wanton, or intentional manner.”
The 60-plus organizations call on the legislature to act quickly to protect businesses, non-profits and individuals who are doing the right thing, while ensuring bad actors could still be held liable.
The full letter can be foundhere.