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Uniting for Recovery: Lawmakers must shield COVID-19 heroes from opportunistic lawsuits

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Protect our heroes

During the COVID-19 crisis, Missouri health care professionals have dealt with extraordinary challenges and placed themselves in harm’s way to serve the sick. In addition, manufacturers across the state rapidly altered their operations to help fill the state’s critical demand for personal protective equipment. These Missourians should be recognized as heroes. Now state lawmakers must act to shield them from opportunistic lawsuits that are likely to arise in the wake of this crisis.

Facing an unprecedented health crisis, health care workers and manufacturers had to go beyond normal operating routines to serve our state’s public interest. But in doing so, they may have also put themselves in legal peril. This is likely to create a lucrative opportunity for Missouri trial lawyers to go after our state’s health care and manufacturing industries — as well as their workers. The risk is especially acute in Missouri, which is recognized as having one of the worst legal climates in the nation with courtrooms often strongly slanted against defendants. With Missouri lawmakers returning to Jefferson City on April 27, protecting these groups from frivolous lawsuits must be a top priority.

“Missourians are continuing to face one of the greatest challenges in our state’s history. COVID-19 has caused devastating health impacts, dramatically altered our daily lives and impacted our economy. During this time, our state has been inspired by the work of manufacturers that shifted their lines to make protective equipment and health care workers who served long hours in very difficult circumstances,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Now, we have to unite as a state and protect these workers and industries from opportunistic lawsuits. Missouri lawmakers must make this a top priority when they return on April 27. We can’t wait for the lawsuits to begin. We can’t leave health care workers and manufacturers exposed during this time. We need to rally behind these COVID-19 heroes. The Missouri General Assembly must act now. Let’s unite and shield the Missourians who are going above and beyond to help our state weather this crisis.”

Protecting Missouri health care workers and manufacturers from opportunistic lawsuits is a part of Uniting for Recovery: A COVID-19 Economic Response Agenda. This recovery agenda is built around proposals that can be enacted in three stages: Leading During Crisis, Strengthening Our Recovery and Protecting Our Future. Missouri needs a strong response to this crisis as the Missouri Chamber’s Uniting for Recovery research shows that half of Missouri businesses are preparing for temporary layoffs. The average business expects to see their revenue drop 27 percent this year. And 15 percent of businesses in our state expect this crisis will force them to close for good.

Sign the petition urging Missouri lawmakers to protect our COVID-19 heroes.

Full agenda: mochamber.com/recovery

COVID-19 resources: mochamber.com/coronavirus

Help small businesses: mochamber.com/buymo

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