Massachusetts Governor Baker Files Legislation To Provide Healthcare Workers Liability Protections During COVID-19 Response

April 10, 2020 by matray

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker filed legislation to provide healthcare workers and facilities protections from civil liability while they are on the front lines of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 response.

The legislation would protect healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians, as well as certain healthcare facilities from liability and suit when the care that they provide is impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. The bill would also provide protections for the health workers staffing the unique Field Medical Stations being stood up at the DCU Center, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and other locations.

“Ensuring that our healthcare workers have the resources and protections they need has been a top priority for our administration since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Baker said. “This legislation offers important protections for health care workers and facilities facing the unprecedented challenges that come with the outbreak of this virus, and we look forward to working with our legislative partners to enact this bill and take another step in our efforts to support the Commonwealth’s medical system.

“Massachusetts is blessed to be home to some of the world’s best healthcare workers and institutions, and it’s important that the fear of liability does not prevent them from delivering the kind of medical response we need during this pandemic,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Legislature to enact this bill and further support our healthcare system during this emergency.”

Gov. Baker also issued a directive that will maximize protections for healthcare workers under the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (“PREP Act”) during the state of emergency. The directive will ensure that healthcare workers and facilities that distribute and administer testing, drugs and medical devices for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 are protected from suit and liability to the maximum extent possible under the PREP Act.

Click below to read today’s legislation and directive:

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