On Thursday, April 22, the South Carolina House gave second reading to a Senate bill to protect South Carolina businesses from predatory COVID-related lawsuits. S.174 could arrive on the Governor’s desk as soon as next week!
This is the end of a hard-fought battle.
When Governor McMaster delivered his State of the State address outlining South Carolina’s 2021 priorities for the legislative session, he touted 7 of the 10 recommendations in Palmetto Promise’s 2021 Freedom Agenda. At the top of our list was protecting free enterprise from COVID lawsuits, so we are pleased to see that safe harbor become a reality.
Since we first wrote about the absurd ambulance-chasing going on with COVID lawsuits here and here, Palmetto Promise has been working to raise awareness of the need for protection for innocent businesses during the pandemic.
Knowing that our regional competitors (NC, GA, TN) had already passed similar bills, it was urgent that we protect job-creators in the Palmetto State this session.
At Palmetto Promise we believe that if a business has made good faith efforts in line with state and federal rules to protect their customers and associates from COVID-19, it should not be punished for damages from someone who “might” have been exposed.
This bill (soon to be an Act) gives those liability protections for businesses, particularly healthcare providers, who are following public health guidance.
We are encouraged by this victory for common sense in South Carolina (and the many Mom and Pop businesses it protects). This Freedom Agenda legislative win is a much-needed step in the post-COVID recovery process for our Palmetto State economy.