(Madison) Today, the Assembly Committee on Health heard testimony and approved Assembly Bill 1, relating to various measures addressing the COVID-19 pandemic including granting broad immunity to businesses and other entities from litigation related to workplace safety. In response to a number of inaccurate and false statements made by various representatives of the business community, Jay A. Urban, President of the Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ) released the following statement:
“This bill legalizes negligence, pure and simple. Unlike immunity measures passed in other states requiring businesses to take reasonable steps to ensure employee and customer safety, this legislation grants broad immunity from liability to all businesses, even if they take no safety precautions at all. It even goes further to grant immunity from liability to businesses that knowingly violate local health orders on capacity limitations.”
“We believe most businesses in Wisconsin are trying to do the right thing and keep people safe. In a pandemic, these good actors deserve the certainty that legal protection can provide. But the fact remains that the sweeping nature of Assembly Bill 1 will allow bad actors to take advantage of these new protections and endanger the public with no legal recourse or accountability whatsoever.”
“Proponents cherry pick examples of one-off lawsuits from other states to stoke fear amongst the business community in Wisconsin. But the fact remains that after nearly 500,000 COVID-19 diagnoses and nearly 5,000 tragic deaths, there have been zero COVID-19 workplace safety lawsuits filed in Wisconsin. The immunity provisions in this bill truly are a solution in search of a problem.”
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