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Parson signs COVID-19 liability bill to protect businesses, others from lawsuits

Gov. Mike Parson COVID-19 briefing.jpg
Posted at 3:59 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 17:00:28-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill Wednesday intended to protect businesses, health care providers, religious organizations and others from facing certain COVID-19 related lawsuits.

Senate Bill 51 states that a business or other organization can only be sued for exposing people to COVID-19 if they “engaged in reckless or willful misconduct.”

Protections also extend to health care providers and manufacturers that changed practices to meet emergency needs during the crisis.

This addition came after distilleries, some in the Kansas City area, were fined for pivoting to manufacture hand sanitizer during the pandemic, though the federal government later took back the fines.

“When COVID-19 first struck Missouri, health care providers, manufacturers, businesses, churches, schools, and other entities quickly altered their operations to protect public health and accommodate the needs of Missourians, and they should not be penalized for their efforts,” Parson said in a release. “SB 51 will protect those who helped protect us during some of the hardest days of the pandemic.”

Parson also said the legislation will stop unnecessary lawsuits.