The last 3 months have challenged Oregon's local businesses. No one could have prepared for the COVID-19 crisis or the economic disaster that followed statewide public health orders. And today, many businesses-child care providers, restaurants, retailers, salon owners, and more-are grappling with whether it is even possible to reopen their doors following this crisis.
For many businesses navigating this uncertainty, there is an even greater fear lurking around the corner: costly and opportunistic COVID-19 lawsuits.
As businesses start to reopen, they are implementing safety measures in alignment with State public health guidelines and recommendations. Many employers are worried that even though they are following public health guidelines, an employee or customer will contract coronavirus and sue them, claiming that they got sick because of circumstances beyond the control of the business. Our local businesses shouldn't live in fear of opportunistic attorneys and crippling litigation during these uncertain times.
Businesses need to know that if they take steps to implement guidance from state and federal public health officials, they will be protected from excessive lawsuits that will drain their cash reserves. One lawsuit or demand letter can cripple a business, regardless of the steps taken to protect employee and customer health under state-issued public health guidance.
Oregon lawmakers must act now to protect local businesses from litigation abuse! Plaintiffs' attorneys and lawsuit lending companies are preparing for an onslaught of coronavirus suits. Temporary and targeted liability protections are necessary to allow businesses to reopen safely and with the confidence that they aren't reopening simply to risk everything.
Temporary and targeted liability protections are not a partisan issue. States with democrat and republican governors have signed legislation to prevent excessive litigation from burying employers who have acted in good faith and in accordance with state and federal guidelines in this crisis. The time for Oregon to act is now!
Are you worried about coronavirus liability-despite the fact that your business has done its best to adhere to Governor Brown's public health guidelines? If so, the Governor and legislators need to hear from you today! Tell your story to help inform this important policy decision.