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Burgum signs ‘COVID Liability Protection’ bill

Gov. Doug Burgum Bill Signing
Gov. Doug Burgum Bill Signing(kfyr)
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 2:41 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D., signed a bill Friday morning protecting businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits.

The new law will ban employees from suing their employers if they believe they contracted the virus while on the job.

But it doesn’t just shield employers. The bill also applies broadly to businesses including hospitals, meaning if a patient contracts the virus while in a health care facility, they can’t sue the facility for damages.

Supporters of the bill said businesses worked hard to provide services throughout the pandemic and shouldn’t need to worry about lawsuits over their best efforts.

“We know more now than we did then, but we know that North Dakotans were always doing the best they could with the information they had at the time they were facing these emergencies,” Burgum said.

But the opposition is concerned this will let bad actors slip through the legal cracks and not be held accountable for dangerous work conditions.

There were reports of COVID breakouts inside manufacturing plants where more than 100 cases were discovered.

Burgum and others said the bill doesn’t protect businesses if they were willful in misconduct.

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