New York, NY – Understanding that a balance must exist between a business owner’s need to operate without being exposed to unreasonable liability and the rights of the general public to seek just compensation for damages unreasonably caused by businesses, RIMS, the risk management society®, has issued a statement to guide its advocacy for federal and state/local COVID-19 liability protection legislation.
Moving forward, RIMS will support legislation that encourages businesses to assert a “safe harbor” defense in any COVID-19 claim or litigation where:
- At the time of the incident, the business was operating under Federal health guidelines;
- Alleged business negligence resulted in bodily injury/property damage to third-parties;
- Such legislation would not apply to allegations of gross negligence and/or willful misconduct.
“In the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, organizations are encountering waves of crippling liability claims and are looking to government agencies and professional associations, like RIMS, for guidance,” said Mark Humphreys, Chair of the RIMS External Affairs Committee. “While the situation remains frenetic, RIMS encourages businesses to follow Federal health recommendations to not only protect employees and customers as fully as possible, but to also better protect assets.
“With members across the United States and around the world who manage operations in multiple jurisdictions, it’s imperative that RIMS set parameters that promote greater legislative uniformity and that allow the Society to represent the broadest group of members that it can.”
RIMS provides risk management professionals from around the world with access to resources and educational programming to help them navigate COVID-19’s impacts, as well as many other business risks. The Society’s External Affairs Committee continues to monitor legislative and regulatory issues that impact the ability of organizations to protect employees, property and data, while reaching their respective strategic goals.