Thursday, May. 28, 2020, 10:36 AM
The National Automobile Dealers Association and the American International Automobile Dealers Association were among the more than 200 diverse trade associations and other groups calling for Congress to provide temporary and targeted liability relief legislation through an initiative pushed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce asked lawmakers to “quickly enact temporary and targeted liability relief legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” As businesses start to reopen, NADA, AIADA and the other groups said that employers simply want to know that if they take reasonable steps to follow public health guidelines, they will be protected against “needless lawsuits.”
The letter emphasized the risk of “opportunistic” lawsuits posing a significant barrier for businesses and in their ability to bounce back from the economic crisis.
“During times of past crises, Congress has passed liability protections on a bipartisan basis, and must do so again,” said Harold Kim, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
“The U.S. Chamber and the Institute for Legal Reform are leading this coalition to urge lawmakers to protect businesses against the acute economic threat of lawsuits,” Kim continued in a news release.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice president and chief policy officer Neil Bradley elaborated about the risk businesses like dealerships currently face and why this policy is needed.
“Temporary, targeted and timely liability relief is critical as employers work to keep their employees and customers safe and reopen their doors as America moves towards recovering from this crisis,” Bradley said. “Businesses who follow public health guidelines shouldn’t have to worry about lawsuits. Without temporary liability protections many companies face a daunting choice of either staying closed and risking bankruptcy or reopening and risking a business-crippling lawsuit.”
“We must be focused on a bipartisan strategy to get the American economy back on track safely and sustainably, and unwarranted lawsuits against businesses will hinder economic recovery,” Bradley continued. “As Congress and the White House consider their next relief package, the Chamber believes it should include temporary safe harbor protections from lawsuits during the COVID-19 crisis.”