DeWine Signs Bill Granting Civil Immunity to Certain Businesses during Pandemic

Governor Mike DeWine signed HB 606, sponsored by Rep. Diane Grendell, into law on Monday. The legislation grants civil immunity to individuals, churches, ministries, schools, health care providers, businesses, and others from lawsuits due to exposure, transmission, or contraction of COVID-19, as long as they were not showing reckless, intentional, or willful misconduct.

As many churches and ministries are beginning to resume meeting in person, there has been a growing concern about new liability issues that have arisen due to the coronavirus pandemic. The bill, which passed with large majorities in both the House and Senate, protects these essential organizations against frivolous lawsuits brought by those seeking to financially gain from the crisis.

CCV advocated in favor of the bill, along with dozens of other organizations, including the Ohio Manufacturers Association, the Ohio Municipal League, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Buckeye Institute, the Associated Builders and Contractors of Ohio, the Ohio Dental Association, the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, and the Ohio Health Care Association.

“The last thing that churches and faith-based organizations should have to worry about is facing post-COVID-19 lawsuits from individuals claiming to have contracted the disease while receiving charitable services,” said Aaron Baer, CCV President. “These nonprofits and businesses should not be penalized for acting as Good Samaritans in our communities. House Bill 606 adds much-needed immunity to churches and faith-based organizations, along with for-profit businesses.

“We want to thank Senate President Larry Obhof, Senator Matt Huffman, Speaker Bob Cupp, and Representative Bill Seitz on their leadership in moving this vital legislation, and Governor DeWine for supporting those that are supporting our community by signing HB 606 into law.”

The immunity is set to last from March 9, 2020, the date of the emergency declaration through Sept. 30, 2021. The bill will become law after 90 days.

For more information, contact CCV at 513-733-5775 or [email protected]

As Ohio’s Family Policy Council, Citizens for Community Values seeks the good of our neighbors throughout Ohio by advocating for public policy that reflects the truth of the Gospel. We endeavor to create an Ohio where God’s blessings of life, family, and religious freedom are treasured, respected, and protected.

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