Recycled bid to protect businesses from lawsuits
Session is underway -- and already getting some buzz is a bill sponsored by a local lawmaker.
State senator tony luetkemeyer has filed a new bid aimed at protecting businesses from covid-19 lawsuits.
Bills introduced in state legislatures across the u.s. have had varied success.
Kq2's madeline mcclain explains why.
<<kq2's madeline mcclain reportingmissouri hospitals, businesses and schools would be protected from most coronavirus-related lawsuits under two bills heard by a senate panel in jefferson city this week.one sponsored by a local state senator.state sen.
Tony luetkemeyer, r-parkville: "i think what this bill is designed to do is to give some grace to employers as they are trying to reopen their businesses and put missourians back to work."
The parkville republican introduced senate bill 51 with the stated aim of protecting hospitals, schools and manufacturers from covid-19 related lawsuits.
Tony luetkemeyer, r- parkville: "those are companies that are not used to making these products.
They were acting as good samaritans to make sure that we were able to meet this pandemic and have an ample supply of ppe and hand sanitizer and other things that were needed and we need to make sure we are protecting those companies as well."the concept of protecting businesses and corporations from lawsuits has been argued for years at the national and state levels.and it's not a new topic for the pandemic.
Supporters of the legislation often argue it will help restart the economy.state sen.
Tony luetkemeyer, r-parkville: "we have had record job loss in the state of missouri due ot covid-19.
You know, in a matter of a few days we went from record low unemployment back in march last year to record high unemployment."
Critics argue it gives bad employers and bad companies a free pass to put profits before its workers.state sen.
Tony luetkemeyer, r-parkville: "we need to get kids back in school and making sure that businesses, schools and frontline healthcare workers, law enforcement officers, feel like they are protected and supported and are not going to get sued into an oblivion is going to help aid in reopening the economy and getting hundreds of thousands of missourians back to work which is critically important."
However critics say this type of legislation doesn't protect workers, teachers or first responders.it protects corporate interests.state sen.
Tony luetkemeyer, r-parkville: "my bill holds people accountable who act recklessly which is a heightened standard but still people acting recklessly, people still have recourse."under luetkemyer's bill -- a worker or customer would have to vault a high bar to prove an employer or company was behaving badly.
Reporting, madeline mcclain kq2 news the assigned senate committee has not taken any further action on the bill and no vote has been scheduled.
At least twenty other states have a similar law on the books.
The costs of covid have been