State Rep. Ben Frederick today said health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan deserve the legal protections provided in a plan recently approved by the Legislature.
Frederick, of Owosso, said health care professionals have been forced to make incredibly difficult decisions while caring for patients under strained circumstances due to the coronavirus. The Legislature’s plan protects them from unwarranted COVID-19 lawsuits, ensuring they can focus their time and energy on providing the best care possible to patients. Cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence or intentional infliction of harm would still be actionable for litigation.
“During this pandemic and every day, our health care heroes make incredible sacrifices to save the lives of others,” Frederick said. “Doctors, nurses and other medical workers should be commended for stepping forward to take on a tremendously challenging task during this public health crisis. We can have their backs by ensuring no provider is targeted with a lawsuit for doing their job to the best of their ability.”
Frederick noted the proposal approved by the House closely reflects the medical liability protections the governor previously included in her executive order, which she rescinded last month. If enacted, Senate Bill 899 will ensure health care workers are protected until the pandemic is over. It also covers workers for actions they took at the beginning of the crisis before the governor first issued the order offering the liability protection.
Frederick urged the governor to sign the measure into law.
“I’m hopeful the governor will partner with the Legislature to extend these protections to our health care professionals who are doing their best to treat people under extraordinary circumstances,” Frederick said. “Without this, health professionals and hospitals could face years of costly and emotionally draining lawsuits, even bankruptcy. It simply wouldn’t be right.”
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