Practice of Medicine

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Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act

July 1, 2020

Disclaimer: As this situation is evolving daily, MagMutual recommends reviewing the latest guidelines for the most current information. Visit the MagMutual COVID-19 Resource Center to learn more.

On June 26, 2020, the Georgia legislature passed the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act (also known as “SB 359”). SB 359 provides protection to healthcare organizations from lawsuits by patients claiming they contracted COVID-19 at a place of business, including healthcare organizations and healthcare providers.

SB 359 is designed to provide relief from COVID-19 related litigation as Georgia businesses reopen. 

Absent a showing of “gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm,” a healthcare organization will have immunity from liability from a claim that a patient contracted COVID-19 at the healthcare organization.  

SB 359 became effective on August 5, 2020, and will remain in effect until July 14, 2021.

While SB 359 does not require healthcare organizations to post a sign at their entryways notifying patients and visitors of the healthcare organization’s COVID-19 liability protection, SB 359 does provide suggested language and a minimum font size should a healthcare organization decide to post a sign. MagMutual recommends that healthcare organizations post a sign in its public entryways consistent with the SB 359 suggested language. This means that a healthcare organization should place a sign in its public entries with the following language in minimum 1-inch Arial font:

“Under Georgia law, there is no liability for an injury or death of an individual entering these premises if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of contracting COVID-19. You are assuming this risk by entering these premises.”

While SB 359 provides protection to the healthcare organization against claims that a patient contracted COVID-19 at the healthcare organization, the healthcare organization must continue to follow federal, state, and specialty-specific guidelines on infection control and prevention, and document the healthcare organization’s specific actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Disclaimer

The information provided in this resource does not constitute legal, medical or any other professional advice, nor does it establish a standard of care. This resource has been created as an aid to you in your practice. The ultimate decision on how to use the information provided rests solely with you, the PolicyOwner.