South Carolina Covid-19 Buisness Protection

Paul Navis

As Covid-19 spread begins to slow, one may wonder why liability practices are necessary and why they would be implemented now. It matters whether liability laws are in place as it can impact how companies are impacted by lawsuits related to Covid-19

As the policies are discussed, the basic issue at hand is whether the employer is responsible if an employee econtracts the virus because of their work expectations. This has some important limitations that must be considered. According to the Insurance Journal, the South Carolina Liability Immunity Act will only be a benefit to businesses that are following Covid protocol. Therefore, if someone can prove they did not follow covid protocol then the business has no protections and can be found liable and at fault.

In addition to businesses, lawmakers have also stressed the importance of the bill.  Governor McMaster stated that businesses, “should not be placed at future risk for following the recommended safety protocols which allowed them to operate and employ people during the pandemic.” 

Critics also question the necessity of the bill. Insurance Journal states, “Opponents of the bill have said existing laws could handle the problem.” Furthermore, opponents think businesses should not have this amount of power. The South Carolina Association of Justice  Association President, Richards McRae stated “Businesses should never be given far-reaching immunity from being held responsible for risky or reckless behavior.”

What’s curious to note for South Carolina is that many states have already passed legislation protecting businesses. According to the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, there are already 39 states that give some sort of protection to businesses over Covid lawsuits. 

With the bill having been signed by the Governor, people want to know that these protections will eventually end. According to the National Review Law, the bill protections are only maintained until June 30th or when 180 days have passed from when the state of emergency ended. The bill includes both claims of feared exposure as well as confirmed cases of Covid-19.