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Long-Term Care Providers, Advocates Split Over Bill To Limit COVID-19 Liability

Published: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - 12:23pm
Updated: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - 12:27pm
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A state House committee is scheduled to debate a bill March 17 that would shield many Arizona businesses from COVID-related lawsuits.

The measure is a priority for many in the GOP including Gov. Doug Ducey, who mentioned the idea in his State of the State speech in January.

Among other provisions, the bill raises the standard for suing, and would require someone filing suit to prove by clear and convincing evidence that a business acted with willful misconduct or gross negligence. The bill would also be retroactive to the day last year when the governor declared the current emergency.

Senate Bill 1377 has already cleared the Senate.

The bill would apply generally to businesses and health care institutions, including long-term care facilities. And that last group of providers has generated some controversy.

The Show heard from two perspectives on the matter, starting with Dana Marie Kennedy, state director for AARP Arizona. Kennedy opposes long-term care facilities being included in the bill.

But long-term care facilities believe they do deserve the same protections as other kinds of businesses. The Show also heard from Dave Voepel, CEO of the Arizona Health Care Association, for more about why.

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