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Additional COVID-19 Liability Protections For Health Care Providers Head To Governor

A bill that will give health care providers additional protections from COVID-19 liability lawsuits is on its way to the governor’s desk. Some trial lawyers worry the bill will limit Hoosiers from seeking legal action for their loved ones.

The House version of the bill, HB 1002, expands upon previous legislation Gov. Eric Holcomb already signed that gave civil immunity to businesses, schools and health care providers.

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It adds protections for nursing homes, hospitals and other medical providers from lawsuits unless gross negligence or willful misconduct can be proven.

Ashley Hadler is a trial lawyer and represents clients looking to take legal action against nursing homes. She said changes in the Senate did improve the bill, but it is still too broad.

“It still will allow attorneys to argue that facilities are immune from claims that have nothing to do with coronavirus,” said Hadler. “It still allows bad actors to get away with understaffing or get away with not providing patient care under the guise of responding to COVID-19. And that's a problem.”

The House agreed to the Senate’s changes Wednesday. The bill will now go to Holcomb for his signature.

Contact reporter Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.

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