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The American Supply Association (ASA), whose distributor, manufacturer and manufacturers’ representative members conduct business throughout the plumbing, heating, cooling, pipe, and industrial pipe, valves and industry supply chain, is part of a coalition urging Congress to quickly enact temporary and targeted liability relief legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its letter to Congress, the coalition notes these crucial projections should safeguard businesses, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions, as well as healthcare providers and facilities, from unfair lawsuits and allow them to continue to contribute to a safe and effective recovery from the pandemic.
However, the coalition explains that as workers and businesses keep communities safe and provide for the American people, its members and constituencies are concerned that despite doing their best to follow applicable guidelines, they will be forced to defend against an onslaught of frivolous lawsuits. The prospect of such litigation and associated exorbitant legal costs, the coalition notes, are a deterrent to reopening. Further, the litigation could devastate these entities that are just starting to reopen their doors or have kept them open throughout the crisis.
The coalition is asking Congress to act quickly to enact temporary liability protections for 1). Businesses, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions that work to follow applicable public health guidelines against COVID-19 exposure claims; 2). Healthcare workers and facilities providing critical COVID-19-related care and services; 3). Manufacturers, donors, distributors, and users of vaccines, therapeutics, medical devices, as well as PPE and other supplies (such as hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies) that are critical to the COVID-19 response; and 4). Public companies targeted by unfair and opportunistic COVID-19-related securities lawsuits. In addition to being temporary, the coalition believes these liability protections should be limited in scope and preserve recourse for those harmed by truly bad actors who engage in egregious misconduct.
Several governors and state legislatures already have implemented COVID-19-related liability protections for key sectors in their states, but a uniform national response is necessary, the coalition stresses.
To read the full coalition letter and to see a full list of coalition members, visit www.uschamber.com.