Kansas lawmakers are trying to protect business owners from being held liable if they are sued due to covid-19

Joplin Area Coronavirus

TOPEKA, Ks — As businesses reopen, many people are worried about having the coronavirus spread in their store.

Many businesses are cleaning more, having people wear masks, and making customers keep their distance from each other.

But what if a customer or employee gets sick, could the company be responsible?

Kansas lawmakers are trying to protect business owners from being held liable if they are sued.

New bills are being discussed that could impact restaurants, stores, nursing homes, and medical facilities.

Supporters say it wouldn’t totally protect companies if they were negligent, but the plan would establish a standard for courts to follow if a lawsuit is filed against a company during a specific time frame of the coronavirus outbreak.

Sen. Rick Wilborn, (R) McPherson, “We still want to maintain the rights for those that have been aggrieved or harmed, but also the same token, we don’t want to have the business community fighting off frivolous lawsuits that has nothing to do with their standard or their conduct, it’s a delicate balance to get everybody on the same page.”

Eric Stafford, Kansas Chamber of Commerce, said, “If they’re doing all the recommended guidance and suggestions to offer those protections that they’re not then going to be exposed to liability and face litigation to be sued over somebody who contracts or might not contract covid from their facility, how are they going to be able to prove that.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee could decide on a plan Wednesday and then have the full legislature vote on it on Thursday.

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