Gov. Parson calls for special session to discuss COVID-19 liability protection

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.- Governor Parson then moved on to announce new legislation in the works to provide liability protection.  

Parson said no businesses, churches, manufacturers or schools should be penalized for responding to a declared state of emergency with senseless claims.  

“I am expanding the call to a special session to include new legislation regarding COVID-19 liability,” Parson said.  

He listed the following proposed provisions:  

  • Liability protection for healthcare workers who provide care as necessary by a declared state of emergency.  
  • Products liability protection for any person who designs and manufactures labels sales or distribute products in direct response to a declared state of emergency. 
  • Permissive liability protection for exposure claims related to a declared state of emergency.  

“Timely passage of this legislation will be very beneficial to many industries and organizations across Missouri,” Parson said.  

Before the announcement of guidance changes and proposed legislation, Dr. Christine Smith, who is working on the Pfizer vaccine candidate with a Chesterfield research and development site gave updates on their progress with a vaccine.  

“On behalf of Pfizer and our team, it is an honor to be here today,” Smith said. “As I stated at this podium in May, to beat this pandemic, it would take science. It would take creativity. It would take the resolute to have passionate researchers around the world including right here in the state of Missouri.”  

Smith said the results are encouraging on the heels of the Pfizer announcement that the vaccine candidate is 90% effective.  

“The study will continue until we reach 164 cases,” Smith said. “This will help researchers to understand the potential of their vaccine candidate.”  

There are 43,000 participants in the clinical trials enrolled across the world.  

Smith said Missourians should be proud of so much of the process developing work on this vaccine was performed here in Missouri.  

She reported more than 200 employees at the Chesterfield research development facility have contributed to the development and production of the COVID vaccine candidate. 

“The next step includes providing safety data 60 days after their second injection of the vaccine,” Smith said.  

“We will continue to do everything we can to support our healthcare workers” said Governor Parson.  

Governor Parson was asked multiple times why he would not be implementing a statewide mask mandate despite studies that masks were successful at preventing transmission.  

He replied that cities, municipalities, and school districts were better able to determine what works for them in their own communities.  

“None of these groups should be penalized for their efforts to respond to a declared state of emergency. They must be able to continue operating and serving the public without risk of unnecessary and frivolous claims,” Governor Parson explained. 

The proposed legislation includes three main provisions regarding liability protection: 

  • Liability protection for health care workers who provide care as necessitated by a declared state of emergency
  • Products liability protection for any person who designs, manufactures, labels, sells, distributes, or donates products in direct response to a declared state of emergency
  • Premises liability protection for exposure claims related to a declared state of emergency 

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