On February 12, 2021, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law Alabama Senate Bill 30, adding Alabama to the growing number of states that have enacted civil immunity laws benefiting health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. In signing into law the health care provider coronavirus immunity bill, along with two other new laws, Governor Ivey stated, “While the impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the country and around the world, we remain committed to helping Alabamians and Alabama businesses get back on their feet and our state moving forward … we are protecting our existing businesses from any frivolous lawsuits due to COVID-19.”
The new law provides, in part: ” (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a covered entity shall not be liable for any damages, injury, or death suffered by any person or entity as a result of, or in connection with, a health emergency claim that results from any act or omission of the covered entity. (b) Subsection (a) does not apply if the claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that the covered entity caused the damages, injury, or death by acting with wanton, reckless, willful, or intentional misconduct. (c) In those instances where liability is established as required by subsection (b), and the acts or omissions do not result in serious physical injury, a covered entity’s liability shall be limited to actual economic compensatory damages, and in no event shall the covered entity be liable for noneconomic or punitive damages. (d) A party asserting a health emergency claim alleging wrongful death is only entitled to an award of punitive damages.”
“(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, as a matter of law, a covered entity shall not be liable for negligence, premises liability, or for any non-wanton, non-willful, or non-intentional civil cause of action to which this section applies, unless the claimant shows by clear and convincing evidence that the covered entity did not reasonably attempt to comply with the then applicable public health guidance. (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for a cause of action to which this section applies, a covered entity shall not be liable for damages from mental anguish or emotional distress or for punitive damages, but may be liable for economic compensatory damages in a cause of action that does not involve serious physical injury.”
“(a) Absent wanton, reckless, willful, or intentional misconduct, a health care provider is not liable for any damages, injury, or death alleged to have been caused by an act or omission of the health care provider during the performance or provision of health care services or treatment that resulted from, was negatively affected by, was negatively impacted by a lack of resources caused by, or was done in response to the Coronavirus pandemic or the state’s response to the pandemic.”
“The immunity and other provisions provided in this act shall terminate December 31, 2021, or one year after a declared health emergency relating to Coronavirus expires, whichever is later, except that any civil liability arising out of acts or omissions related to health emergency claims or claims under Section 5 where the act or omission occurred during the operation of this act shall be subject to the provisions of this act in perpetuity.”
If you or a loved one may have been injured (or worse) as a result of medical negligence in Alabama or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find an Alabama medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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