Lee signs liability executive order for health care providers responding to COVID-19

Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order Wednesday that will limit liability for health care providers responding to COVID-19 in Tennessee.

“As we continue our state of emergency and evaluate steps that need to be taken to responsibly address the climbing caseload, I signed an executive order today providing additional protections to health care workers,” Gov. Lee said at a news conference at the state Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.

Executive Order No. 53 grants limited liability protection to health care providers, hospitals, nursing homes and health care workers, Lee said. The order provides limited liability with respect to the services they render that are not considered gross negligence or willful misconduct.

“The law only allows us to take this action for health care providers, so any other liability issues will have to be taken up by the General Assembly,” Lee said.

Tennessee again hit a record high Wednesday for new COVID-19 cases, with 1,806 new cases reported after 24,743 new tests.

“I’m seeing our COVID-19 cases climb,” Lee said. “Today we have more than 1,800 newly reported cases. That’s a record high.”

Versions of wider reaching liability protection legislation were passed by the House and Senate during the legislative session last month, but the bodies failed to come to consensus in conference committee, and the measure failed. Lee confirmed conversations with House and Senate leadership on that issue are ongoing.

“We do understand that there is an urgent need to address liability for businesses and nonprofits and schools,” Lee said. “I plan to call a special session for this, and we’ll have more to say as legislative conversations around that special session continue.”

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Author: Washington Examiner


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