By Bob Katzen
On April 13, Sen. Walter Timilty (D-Milton) filed a bill that would grant indemnity from lawsuits to public and private colleges as a result of any act or omission by the institution when it develops, manufactures, tests or distributes personal protective equipment (PPE) in response to COVID-19, unless the act or omission constitutes willful, wanton or reckless conduct.
“Quite simply, we are in a situation where we need all hands-on deck,” said Timilty. “The state has been asking companies that are able to repurpose their manufacturing processes to help with the emergency demand of PPE. Here in the commonwealth, we have some of the best colleges and universities around that are able to help, but currently cannot. This bill will remove that hurdle.” Timilty also praised Wentworth Institute for their willingness to help.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold, faculty and staff immediately sought opportunities to help medical professionals in their fight against the virus, but there were no legal protections that permitted Wentworth to move forward,” said Wentworth President Mark Thompson. He noted that the bill will provide Wentworth and other universities with the ability to engage in meaningful ways in the effort to provide critical PPE to those on the front line.