New Ohio Law Provides Broad Immunity from COVID-19 Lawsuits

On September 14, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law House Bill 606, which provides broad civil immunity from liability for injuries related to COVID-19. The law extends protection from COVID-related lawsuits to businesses, schools and health care workers, and is similar to laws enacted in a growing list of states nationwide.
 
Under the new law, individuals, businesses, schools and health care providers generally cannot be held liable for injuries or deaths caused by the transmission of COVID-19.  Lawsuits for such injuries can only go forward if a plaintiff can establish that his or her injuries resulted from "reckless conduct or intentional misconduct or willful or wanton misconduct."The law defines “reckless conduct” as “heedless indifference to the consequences” of the risk of causing exposure to the virus.  The protection was made retroactive to March 9, 2020, the date of the Governor’s first COVID-related executive order. 

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