By Bob Katzen
The House and Senate approved and sent to Governor Charlie Baker legislation that would make health care professionals and health care facilities immune from lawsuits and civil liability for any damages alleged to have been sustained by an act or omission by the health care professional or health care facility in the course of providing health care services during the period of the COVID-19 emergency. The immunity would not apply in instances of gross negligence, recklessness, conduct with an intent to harm or in cases which discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. The proposal was based on a bill filed by Gov. Baker.
Baker said the legislation would provide our health care workers and facilities with protections from civil liability while they are on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I cannot overstate the urgency of enacting this legislation,” said Baker when he filed the bill back on April 8. “We need to ensure that fear of liability will not prevent the commonwealth and its medical institutions from acting decisively to deliver the kind of medical response we need during this pandemic. I urge your prompt enactment of legislation.”