The panel’s three Democrats voted against the measure, which passed 5-3.
Some labor leaders, trial lawyers and Democrats fear legislation could undermine key protections and allow businesses to do whatever they like with few legal ramifications.
Albers said the proposal, which has been inserted into House Bill 216, will not allow businesses and organizations to have a free pass to not follow health and sanitation guidelines laid out by the state.
According to the proposed legislation, businesses and other organizations — including charity groups and municipal and state governments — would be protected from civil lawsuits if a person gets sick and/or dies from COVID-19 after being exposed to the disease on the property. Health care providers also would be protected from liability lawsuits.
The groups would not be protected if it was found the disease was spread as a result of “gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm or intentional infliction of harm.”
If the Senate passes the legislation, it would have to be approved by the House before the session ends. Lawmakers have 10 remaining legislative days to approve laws, though the last day of session has not yet been finalized.