Florida close to shielding businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits

Photo does not have a caption

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida businesses and healthcare providers would be protected from coronavirus lawsuits if they made a good effort to follow guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under a bill passed by the Senate on Thursday.

Last week, the House passed a similar bill, but the measure won't go to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis until differences are worked out. But the issue is a priority for DeSantis and the Republican legislative leaders and could see final passage as soon as next week.

The Senate vote was 24-15, with Republicans in support and Democrats opposed. Republicans argued that businesses need the financial security of knowing they won't be sued if they followed guidance to protect customers, employees and patients from being infected by the virus.

Democrats argued that the the bill would make it nearly impossible for people with legitimate claims to be able to go to the courts for relief.