Kansas: Businesses Protected from Liability in Response to COVID-19 Claims

APPLIES TO

Employers with KS Employees, as indicated

EFFECTIVE

August 7, 2020

QUESTIONS?

Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

Kansas House Bill No. 2016 creates the COVID-19 Response and Reopening for Business Liability Protection Act, providing individuals or agents conducting business in Kansas with immunity from civil actions for COVID-19 claims under specified circumstances. The Act also provides immunity for specific businesses, such as healthcare providers and adult care facilities.  These provisions are generally intended to provide business owners with some protection from COVID-19 related claims when the businesses are acting on behalf of, or in compliance with, local statute and public health emergency directives.

Business Liability. The business liability section provides a person or agent of a person conducting business in Kansas with immunity so long as that person acts pursuant to and in compliance with public health directives applicable to the activity giving rise to the cause of action.  This protection applies retroactively to any cause of action accruing on or after March 12, 2020.  The immunity ends on January 26, 2021.

Product Liability.  Similarly, a person who designs, manufactures, labels, sells, distributes, provides or donates a qualified product in response to the pandemic health emergency is immune from liability in civil actions alleging a product liability claim if the product was provided at the request of or in response to an order or directive issued by the governor, adjutant general or the division of emergency management; and if the damages were not willful or in reckless disregard of a known substantial risk that the product would cause others serious injury.  Likewise, this section applies retroactively to March 12, 2020.

Healthcare Provider Immunity.  Healthcare providers are immune from civil liability for damages and various fees or penalties related to healthcare services and decisions that are a direct response to any state of disaster emergency declared pursuant to applicable Kansas law and related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  However, immunity does not extend to acts, omissions, or healthcare decisions that constitute gross negligence or willful, wanton, or reckless conduct.  This section applies retroactively to March 12, 2020, and prior to termination of the state of disaster emergency related to COVID-19.

Adult Care Facilities.  Adult care facilities are granted an affirmative defense to liability in a civil action for damages, administrative fines, and penalties for a COVID-19 claim if the facility:

  • Was required by statute or regulation to reaccept a patient previously removed from the facility for COVID-19 treatment, or treated a resident testing positive for COVID-19 in compliance with a statute or regulation; and
  • Is acting pursuant to and in compliance with public health directives specified in the bill.

Action Items

  1. Read the full text of the House Bill here.
  2. Review requirements for immunity and implement appropriate procedures.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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