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Tennessee lawmakers pass COVID-19 liability legislation

Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill that seeks to protect Tennessee business owners from “frivolous lawsuits” related to COVID-19.
FILE - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee removes his mask as he begins a news conference July 1, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. Earlier this week, as Tennessee registered its highest single-day coronavirus case increase, Gov. Lee held a news conference and issued a stern response. It wasn't a mandate to wear masks in public or clamp down on businesses or social gatherings. Instead, it was a plea for residents to do the right thing. “When we have people dying in this state as a result of this virus, we should be taking personal responsibility for this,” the Republican governor said.
FILE - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee removes his mask as he begins a news conference July 1, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. Earlier this week, as Tennessee registered its highest single-day coronavirus case increase, Gov. Lee held a news conference and issued a stern response. It wasn't a mandate to wear masks in public or clamp down on businesses or social gatherings. Instead, it was a plea for residents to do the right thing. “When we have people dying in this state as a result of this virus, we should be taking personal responsibility for this,” the Republican governor said.(Mark Humphrey | AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, file)
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 10:07 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2020 at 11:16 PM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/WMC) - Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill that seeks to protect Tennessee business owners from “frivolous lawsuits” related to COVID-19.

WMC reported that the COVID-19 liability bill says anyone filing a lawsuit because of loss, damage, injury or death arising from coronavirus must provide “clear and convincing evidence” that the person, business, or organization they’re suing acted with “gross negligence or willful misconduct.”

The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or TOSHA, told WMC they’ve received 877 complaints about unsafe work conditions related to COVID-19.

The bill passed the Senate 27-4. It passed the House 80-10.

It now heads to Lee, who is expected to sign it into law.

Lawmakers also passed a proposal that would significantly stiffen penalties against protesters. Under the proposal targeting protests, those who illegally camp on state property will now face a Class E felony.

Copyright 2020 WVLT via WMC. All rights reserved.

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