NFI signs letter requesting liability protection from essential workers

The National Fisheries Institute, along with 31 other associations representing industries from beef to trucking, has signed onto a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell requesting Congress grant liability protection from lawsuits related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The industries that have signed onto the letter all represent “essential critical infrastructure,” according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The U.S. government has told these companies that they have a “special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

However, according to the letter, there is an “emerging threat” to the companies’ operations from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is an emerging threat to their ability to continue serving customers: efforts by some to take advantage of the current crisis to file unfounded lawsuits against them alleging that customers and employees were infected with COVID-19 because the nation’s essential critical infrastructure businesses kept operating,” the letter states.

The letter requests that Congress grant industries deemed essential liability protection language.

“Congress can help solve this problem to ensure that America’s essential critical infrastructure continues to serve the American people,” the letter states. It adds that passing a liability protection would be similar to many good Samaritan laws that have already been passed in several states in the U.S.

“These protections cover individuals as well as corporations, such as airlines and vaccine manufacturers that help protect passengers or customers in need,” the letter states. “During the COVID-19 crisis, businesses that make up the nation’s essential critical infrastructure are acting as good Samaritans. They are serving the real, immediate needs of the American people and they should not have to worry they will be sued for simply providing the products and services Americans need right now.”

The letter goes on to request that Congress work on a bipartisan solution to the concerns.

“Given the threat to these employers and their associates, we ask for your leadership and support for liability protection language for businesses designated as essential critical infrastructure by the DHS 2 Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s guidance in the next (phase 4) COVID-19 stimulus bill,” the letter states. 


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