New Indiana Law Gives Employers Civil Tort Immunity Related to COVID-19

On February 18, 2021, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law Senate Bill 1 that provides employers’ civil tort immunity related to COVID-19. The immunity applies to causes of action that accrue from March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2024.

The law specifically provides a person is immune from civil tort liability for damages arising from COVID-19 on the premises owned or operated by the person, on any premises on which the person or an employee or agent of the person provided property or services to another person, or during an activity managed, organized, or sponsored by the person.

Definition of “person”

The law defines “person” as an individual, an association, an institution, a corporation, a company, a trust, a limited liability company, a partnership, a political subdivision, a governmental entity, a nonprofit corporation or any other organization or entity.

Definition of “arising from COVID-19”

The law also defines “arising from COVID-19” as an injury or harm caused by or resulting from the actual, alleged, or possible exposure to or contraction of COVID-19; or services, treatment, or other actions performed for COVID-19.

The law does not grant immunity from civil tort liability to a person whose actions or omissions constitute gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct (including fraud and intentionally tortious acts) as proven by clear and convincing evidence.

The law supplements and is in addition to the Indiana Tort Claims Act and Indiana Medical Malpractice Act but it does not apply to the following: 1) Worker’s Compensation claims; 2) Worker’s Occupational Diseases Compensation; 3) Occupational Health and Safety; or 4) Unemployment Compensation.

For additional information on this or any related topic, please contact any of the KDDK labor and employment law professionals.

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