Late last month, Governor DeSantis signed into law a COVID-19 claim immunity shield, titled Civil Liability for Damages Relating to COVID-19 (Fla. Stat. § 768.38). Under the Act, businesses, educational institutions, governmental entities and religious institutions have protection against COVID-19 related claims.
Specifically, the Act creates a high threshold for a plaintiff to overcome to bring a successful claim for COVID-19 related injuries. A plaintiff must show that the defendant was grossly negligent. In addition, a plaintiff who files suit will need to provide a physician’s affidavit to vouch for a plaintiff’s injury claim and its connection to the defendant’s acts or omissions. It also places a burden on the plaintiff to establish that the defendant did not make a good faith effort to comply with public health standards and/or guidance regarding COVID-19. If the court determines that a good faith effort was made to comply, then the defendant is immune from liability.
The law applies retroactively and has a statute of limitations of one-year.
COVID-19 continues to impact companies in our Tallahassee community. Thompson, Crawford, Brown & Smiley is here to help our clients effectively address any impacts on their businesses. Please give us a call at 850-386-5777 if we can be of any assistance.