In an NC Chamber newsletter, the leading N.C. business advocacy organization called attention to a lawsuit in Durham County challenging COVID-19 liability immunity provided by the General Assembly, in which the presiding Superior Court Judge rejected the challenge. As noted in the newsletter, attorney Chris Smith argued successfully to the judge to dismiss the case and was quoted regarding the significance of the immunity legislation and its impact for the economy. The Durham lawsuit received national media attention and is one of the first lawsuits nationwide to challenge the civil liability protections for health care workers from claims of negligence connected to COVID-19.
Chris noted during the hearing that the immunity reflects the needed adjustments to our liability system “built for normal times” during these “abnormal times.” He further noted that the immunity reflects the decision by our elected policymakers of how best to keep the “engine of the economy” going while ensuring we “take good care” of each other.
Also referenced in the Chamber newsletter were two articles on the immunity legislation (Senate Bill 704 and House Bill 118) written previously by Smith Anderson attorneys Chris Smith, Robby Desmond and David Ortiz that can be found here and here. Senate Bill 704 and House Bill 118 are two pieces of legislation on which the NC Chamber successfully worked with a broad coalition of stakeholders to secure passage during the 2020 session.
The NC Chamber is the leading business advocacy organization in North Carolina. The statewide organization works in the legislative, regulatory and political arenas to proactively drive positive change, ensuring that North Carolina is one of the best places in the world to do business. As the voice for business, the NC Chamber is committed to sharing stories and highlighting the organizations and people that keep our state moving forward.