States target liability laws

Lawmakers are hoping to shield doctors, hospitals and businesses from lawsuits related to COVID-19 illnesses. Kansas officials are joining other states in a large-scale effort as dissension grows.

By

State News

May 14, 2020 - 10:15 AM

Derek Schmidt

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican legislators in Kansas are joining a broader effort to shield doctors, hospitals and businesses from lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus, with business and medical groups pushing them to act quickly.

The effort faces strong opposition from labor unions, trial lawyers and some Democrats. They fear that such measures could be too broad and keep patients, consumers and employees from using the court system to hold businesses and medical providers accountable for negligence or misconduct.

Similar efforts are underway in Congress, with Derek Schmidt of Kansas joining other GOP state attorneys general in calling for legislation to head off “frivolous” lawsuits. Legislators in multiple states, including Mississippi, North Carolina and Utah, are considering their own laws.

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