Alliance Supports Co-Sponsorship of LRB-6434

The Waukesha County Business Alliance is encouraging state legislators to co-sponsor LRB-6434/2 circulated by Senator Kapenga, Representative Born, and Representative Knodl on September 1, 2020. The bill would create a safe harbor for all property owners/occupants who are good actors against frivolous lawsuits alleging a plaintiff was infected with COVID-19 at a specific premises. Below is a letter of support.

The Waukesha County Business Alliance has a broad and diverse membership – 1,300 member organizations employing more than 75,000 Wisconsinites. Our members come from a variety of industries, representing everything from sole proprietors to the largest employers in the region. Every one of our members has been impacted by COVID-19. To continue keeping the Wisconsin economy moving in the right direction, it is imperative that the legislature pass reasonable protections from liability for businesses, schools and other organizations who reopen to serve the public, and are taking commonsense measures to protect their employees, customers, and clients during these irregular times.

While Wisconsin’s economy is reopening, the road to recovery will not be easy. For many local businesses and other main street institutions like nonprofits, schools, and universities, a major concern is whether they are vulnerable to lawsuits for COVID-19 outbreaks beyond their control or otherwise for which they are not responsible. Businesses working to bring back family-supporting jobs and serve their customers during these unprecedented times should not be at risk of potentially bankruptcy causing litigation. Simply put, businesses, schools, and universities need liability protection for outbreaks they did not cause.

On behalf of our members the Alliance encourages legislators to co-sponsor and support LRB-6434/2 circulated by Senator Kapenga, Representative Born, and Representative Knodl on September 1, 2020. The bill would create a safe harbor for all property owners/occupants who are good actors against frivolous lawsuits alleging a plaintiff was infected with COVID-19 at a specific premises. The bill is not business community specific and would protect homeowners, non-profits, schools, universities, and any other premises including outdoor events and festivals. The safe harbor would not protect bad actors. An entity would lose the protection if they knowingly violated a public health order or spread COVID-19 by acting in a reckless, wanton, or intentional manner.

The Alliance encourages legislature to act quickly to protect businesses and individuals and keep our economy running during a global pandemic.