How Much Liability Protection Does Georgia's COVID-19 Law Provide Hospitality Business Owners?

Daily Report

In an article published online in the Daily Report on October 12, 2020, Atlanta-based Partner Jackson Dial discusses the Georgia hospitality industry’s increased risk of liability claims due to COVID-19, and protections offered by the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act.

“SB 359 protects businesses, property owners, health care providers and nonprofits from liability for ‘transmission, infection, exposure or potential exposure of COVID-19’ on their premises unless the claimant proves that the business acted with ‘gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm,’” Dial explains.

Despite the broad protections offered by SB 359, individuals are still free to file lawsuits if they believe they or their loved one contracted the virus while visiting a business in the hospitality industry.

“Georgia business and property owners should not have a false sense of liability protection due to the enactment of SB 359,” Dial writes. “While the protections appear broad on their face, there is no way to know how discovery will unfold in a particular lawsuit or how a court will apply SB 359 to the specific facts in a case. Ultimately, businesses are best served adhering to local, state and federal guidelines to protect themselves from potential civil liability and their patrons and customers from exposure to COVID-19.”

For the full article, subscribers may click here.

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