The Oregonian editorial board echoes call for COVID-19 liability protections

After a strong push by OMC and our partner business associations in the First Special Session, the Oregonian editorial board this weekend penned an op-ed urging state lawmakers to approve coronavirus liability protections in light of the ongoing pandemic and the significant challenges businesses are facing thanks to the crisis. The editorial echoes calls made by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of legislators in Salem last month, who pushed for the adoption of a temporary and limited liability shield in the recently concluded special session. Lawmakers are expected to soon begin interim meetings to discuss potentially passing a coronavirus liability shield in the next special session later this summer.\

From The Oregonian’s editorial:

When lawmakers convene in their next special session, passing liability protections from coronavirus lawsuits must be a priority. The coalition of business, schools and local government groups isn’t asking for protections for those that are acting negligently. Nor are they seeking a permanent shield. Rather, the group is seeking a base level of certainty amid ever-evolving mandates that their compliance will provide some protection from litigation. With 10 Democratic House representatives joining with Republicans in the call for reasonable liability limitations, the governor and legislative leadership should commit to making that happen.

For Oregon Manufacturers and Commerce, adoption of a limited coronavirus liability shield continues to be of chief importance to our association. We know from conversations with our members of all sizes that businesses are doing everything they can to comply with Governor Kate Brown's executive orders and to protect their employees and their customers from the spread of COVID-19. We have also heard time and again that businesses increasingly feel exposed to the threat of coronavirus-related litigation, even in situations where they have gone above and beyond what government coronavirus mitigation mandates have required.

Thousands of Oregon employers are struggling to survive this once-in-a-generation crisis. The least our state government can do is protect businesses in good standing from the threat of opportunistic lawsuits. OMC will be an active participant in lawmakers upcoming meetings on this subject and, on behalf of manufacturers and Oregon employers as a whole, will continue to urge lawmakers to adopt a temporary and limited liability shield in the next special session. 

For more information about OMC’s efforts to support a coronavirus liability shield, please contact our Vice President of Public Affairs Preston Mann at pmann@oregonmanufacturers.org

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