FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2021
FLORIDA LEGISLATURE MOVES FORWARD WITH COVID-19
HEALTH CARE PROVIDER LIABILITY SHIELD
Tallahassee, FL— March 29, 2021 — Today, QPWB marks a monumental legislative milestone as Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that affords liability protections to health care providers and other businesses for damages related to COVID-19.
Recognizing the liability risk the pandemic presented, Orlando Partner Robin Khanal went to work, tirelessly advocating for Florida’s health care providers in front of various committees of the Florida House and Senate. “We are living in unprecedented times,” said Khanal. “This law will ensure that our health care providers are protected as they do all they can to safeguard residents in their care, without being distracted from that important task, left open to frivolous claims of alleged negligence.”
Key protections in the new law include:
- A one-year statute of limitations to bring COVID-19-related claims
- Claimant or plaintiff must plead the complaint with particularity
- Claimant or plaintiff must prove the respondent or defendant engaged in gross negligence or intentional misconduct
- If a health care provider proves by the greater weight of the evidence the existence of an affirmative defense, the health care provider has no liability for that claim
To be immune from liability, the health care provider must prove:
- Substantial compliance with government-issued health standards specifically relating to COVID-19 or other relevant standards, including standards relating to the preservation or prioritization of supplies, materials, or equipment
- Substantial compliance with government-issued health standards specific to infectious diseases in the absence of standards specifically applicable to COVID-19
- Substantial compliance with government-issued health standards relating to COVID-19 or other relevant standards was not possible due to the widespread shortages of necessary supplies, materials, equipment, or personnel
- Substantial compliance with any applicable government issued health standards relating to COVID-19 or other relevant standards if the applicable standards were in conflict
- Substantial compliance with government-issued health standards relating to COVID-19 or other relevant standards was not possible because there was insufficient time to implement the standards
The law takes effect immediately and applies retroactively. However, the law does not apply if a suit has been filed before the effective date.
QPWB attorneys are well-informed on issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and stand ready to defend against all related claims.
Founded in 1998, QPWB has over 380 attorneys and maintains a tightly integrated network of 27 offices nationwide, including 9 offices in Florida. QPWB is the nation’s largest minority and women-owned law firm in the country.
For more information, press only:
Eric W. Boyer, Managing Partner