Bill Would Protect Wisconsin Businesses from some COVID-19 Lawsuits

The Wisconsin Legislature may consider legislation to stop frivolous lawsuits over possible exposure to the Covid-19 virus in schools and businesses.

The bill by Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) would provide a “safe harbor” liability exemption to business owners and others who own or rent a public space as long as they obey public health orders and are taking reasonable precautions to protect the public from the Covid-19 virus.

“With many businesses struggling due to the impacts of COVID-19, the threat of a frivolous lawsuit is the last thing they need while trying to rebound,” said Kapenga in a statement on Tuesday. “Most entities have adapted and taken precautions over the past six months to protect both their customers and employees. These businesses should not be living in constant fear of litigation for something that is beyond their control.”

The bill would also provide legal protection to schools, universities and even homeowners.

“As students around the state return to school this week, many schools are starting in a virtual environment,” Kapenga said. “For some districts across the state, this can be attributed to school boards fearful of being held liable for an increase in cases. This bill is needed to restore confidence, so our economy and our schools can return to a level of normalcy.”

Over a dozen states have enacted similar laws, according to Kapenga.