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A proposed bill could keep businesses from being sued over coronavirus

Apr 21, 2020, 11:10 AM
Attorney General Utah, employers to require employee vaccinations...
(Photo: Utah State Senate Twitter)
(Photo: Utah State Senate Twitter)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new bill would protect businesses from being sued if customers contract the COVID-19 coronavirus at their establishments.

Sen. Kirk Cullimore, R-Draper, said he’s receiving a lot of phone call from restaurant and theater owners in particular, worried if they could be sued if someone gets the coronavirus.  Cullimore said that is a hard fact to prove.

He says much like the flu or cold virus, it would be very difficult to prove in a court of law just where someone picked up their illness.  So, SB 3007 is designed to protect businesses from lawsuits.

“But, the bill will not do away with any health regulations or OSHA standards.  If a company intentionally gets someone sick, they can still be sued,” Cullimore said.

What isn’t so cut and dry is the unintentional transmissions.

Cullimore said he is still seeking input from the public on changing the definition of negligence.  Moving forward, a worker who shows up on the job, trying to hide symptoms from their boss, is a company liable?

“There are still some answers to be discussed,” says Cullimore.

Cullimore hopes to present SB 3007 in a special session on Thursday.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

 

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