Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued the following statement on the Senate Republicans' COVID-19 relief liability proposal:
“Leader McConnell and Republican Senators have put forth a coronavirus relief proposal that is totally unacceptable. Among other significant shortcomings, such as ignoring or failing to adequately address critical components of H.R. 6800, the 'HEROES Act,' which the House passed more than two months ago, the Senate Republican proposal includes a vast corporate giveaway that would shield businesses and employers from being held accountable for failing to protect workers– many of whom are people of color and members of other vulnerable groups– consumers, and the general public.The Republican liability proposal is drafted extraordinarily broadly to capture a range of potential claims that are only tenuously connected to the coronavirus pandemic. The liability shield would last for at least four years and would limit damages and inappropriately federalize coronavirus claims in a one-sided fashion that would protect corporate interests at the expense of the public.
“The extreme liability provisions included in the Republican Senate proposal amount to a gratuitous liability shield that also fails to provide clear, enforceable coronavirus protection standards for businesses, essential workers, and consumers to follow. American workers and consumers want the economy to reopen safely. All but eliminating legal accountability for businesses will make American workers and consumers less safe and will only further encourage the spread of the virus.”