The Indiana General Assembly will begin the 2021 legislative session next week. For some time, leaders of both parties have spoken of enacting COVID-19 liability protections, designating this as a top priority. Several other states have passed legislation providing businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, healthcare facilities, and other entities with protections from civil lawsuits. Generally, these protections prevent customers, residents, attendees, and visitors from filing a civil lawsuit if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 after visiting the business or other facility.
As any such legislation has not yet been enacted in Indiana, it is too early to know exactly what types of entities will be covered and what types of protections will be included. It is important to keep in mind, however, that protections from civil lawsuits are not, in and of themselves, protections or prohibitions against worker’s compensation claims. Worker’s compensation claims in Indiana fall under the jurisdiction of the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board, not Indiana’s trial courts. Barring a dramatic (and unforeseen) change of policy, an employee who contracted or likely contracted COVID-19 while working would still be able to file a worker’s compensation claim related to their illness if liability protection legislation becomes law.
Details matter, especially when it comes to the enactment of laws. The attorneys of McNeelyLaw LLP will follow the upcoming legislative session closely and will be available to answer your questions related to COVID-19 lawsuits or worker’s compensation claims, whether you are an employee, customer, or owner of one of the entities that may be impacted by COVID-19 liability protections.
This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.