SENATE, No. 2634

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 29, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† VIN GOPAL

District 11 (Monmouth)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator O'Scanlon

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes general immunity for entities, including non-profits and governments, and institutions of higher education, and their officers, employees, and agents, against actions relating to Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic or related viral strain in subsequent years.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act establishing general immunity for certain persons and entities, including governmental entities, against legal actions relating to the Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, or related viral strain to the pandemicís virus in subsequent years, and supplementing Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes, and chapters 2 and 3 of Title 59 of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† a.†† As used in this section, ďbusinessĒ means any non-governmental, for-profit or non-profit corporation, company, partnership, firm, sole proprietorship, society, association, business trust, or other form of business organization or entity.

†††† Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, a business, and its trustees, directors, officers, employees, agents, servants, and volunteers, which in good faith reasonably comply with or exceed applicable health and safety measures to prevent or mitigate a personís exposure to the virus SARS-CoV-2 or the disease caused by the virus, Coronavirus disease 2019, also referred to as COVID-19, or a related viral strain to that virus or a disease caused by the related viral strain in subsequent years, which are in effect at the time of an alleged exposure to Sars-CoV-2, a related strain, or disease caused by either one, and which measures are based on guidance, regulations, rules, and administrative orders promulgated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the State Departments of Health, Human Services, and Labor and Workforce Development, or any other applicable federal or State department, division, commission, board, bureau, or agency, as well as applicable Executive Orders or portions of those orders issued by the Governor, shall not be liable in any civil action, or subject to any administrative proceeding concerning professional disciplinary action, or suspension, revocation, refusal to issue or refusal to renew any license, certification, certificate, or permit, as applicable, for any act of commission or omission resulting in damages arising from a personís exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related viral strain, or disease caused by either one.†

†††† b.††† (1)† The immunity provided to a business, and its trustees, directors, officers, employees, agents, servants, and volunteers by this section applies in addition to any other available immunity, and applies whether the exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related viral strain, or disease caused by either one, occurred because the person was required to be on the businessís property, or entered or remained on the property by express or implied invitation or permission, or exposure occurred at some other place in the course of conducting business, providing services, or doing volunteer work on behalf of the business as authorized by it.

†††† (2)†† Nothing in this section shall be deemed to:

†††† (a)†† grant immunity to any business or person causing damage by a willful, wanton, or grossly negligent act of commission or omission; or

†††† (b)†† affect a workerí compensation claim or award pursuant to any applicable State or federal law.

 

†††† 2.††† a.† Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, any public or private institution of higher education, and its trustees, directors, officers, administrators, employees, agents, servants, and volunteers, which in good faith reasonably comply with or exceed applicable health and safety measures to prevent or mitigate a personís exposure to the virus SARS-CoV-2 or the disease caused by the virus, Coronavirus disease 2019, also referred to as COVID-19, or a related viral strain to that virus or a disease caused by the related viral strain in subsequent years, which are in effect at the time of an alleged exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related strain, or disease caused by either one, and which measures are based on guidance, regulations, rules, and administrative orders promulgated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the State Departments of Health, Human Services, and Labor and Workforce Development, the Secretary of Higher Education, or any other applicable federal or State department, division, commission, board, bureau, or agency, as well as applicable Executive Orders or portions of those orders issued by the Governor, shall not be liable in any civil action, or subject to any administrative proceeding concerning professional disciplinary action, or suspension, revocation, refusal to issue or refusal to renew any license, certification, certificate, or permit, as applicable, for any act of commission or omission resulting in damages arising from a personís exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related viral strain, or disease caused by either one.†

†††† b.††† (1)† The immunity provided to a public or private institution of higher education, and its trustees, directors, officers, administrators, employees, agents, servants, and volunteers by this section applies in addition to any other available immunity, and applies whether the exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related viral strain, or disease caused by either one, occurred because the person was required to be on the campus or other property of the institution of higher education, or entered or remained on the campus or other property by express or implied invitation or permission, or exposure occurred at some other place in the course of conducting activities and operations, providing services, or doing volunteer work on behalf of the business as authorized by it.

†††† (2)†† Nothing in this section shall be deemed to:

†††† (a)†† grant immunity to any public or private institution of higher education or person causing damage by a willful, wanton, or grossly negligent act of commission or omission; or

†††† (b)†† affect a workerí compensation claim or award pursuant to any applicable State or federal law.

 

†††† 3.††† a.†† Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, a public entity, which in good faith reasonably complies with or exceeds applicable health and safety measures to prevent or mitigate a personís exposure to the virus SARS-CoV-2 or the disease caused by the virus, Coronavirus disease 2019, also referred to as COVID-19, or a related viral strain to that virus or a disease caused by the related viral strain in subsequent years, which are in effect at the time of an alleged exposure to Sars-CoV-2, a related strain, or disease caused by either one, and which measures are based on guidance, regulations, rules, and administrative orders promulgated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the State Departments of Health, Human Services, and Labor and Workforce Development, or any other applicable federal or State department, division, commission, board, bureau, or agency, as well as applicable Executive Orders or portions of those orders issued by the Governor, shall not be liable in any civil action for any act of commission or omission resulting in damages arising from a personís exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related viral strain, or disease caused by either one.†

†††† b.††† (1)† The immunity provided to a public entity by this section applies in addition to any other available immunity, and applies whether the exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related viral strain, or disease caused by either one, occurred because the person was required to be on the public entityís property, or entered or remained on the property by express or implied invitation or permission, or exposure occurred at some other place in the course of providing government services, or doing volunteer work on behalf of the public entity as authorized by it.

†††† (2)†† Nothing in this section shall be deemed to:

†††† (a)†† grant immunity to any public entity causing damage by a willful, wanton, or grossly negligent act of commission or omission; or

†††† (b)†† affect a workerí compensation claim or award pursuant to any applicable State or federal law.

 

†††† 4.††† a.† Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, a public employee, who in good faith reasonably complies with or exceeds applicable health and safety measures to prevent or mitigate a personís exposure to the virus SARS-CoV-2 or the disease caused by the virus, Coronavirus disease 2019, also referred to as COVID-19, or a related viral strain to that virus or a disease caused by the related viral strain in subsequent years, which are in effect at the time of an alleged exposure to Sars-CoV-2, a related strain, or disease caused by either one, and which measures are based on guidance, regulations, rules, and administrative orders promulgated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the State Departments of Health, Human Services, and Labor and Workforce Development, or any other applicable federal or State department, division, commission, board, bureau, or agency, as well as applicable Executive Orders or portions of those orders issued by the Governor, shall not be liable in any civil action for any act of commission or omission resulting in damages arising from a personís exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related viral strain, or disease caused by either one.†

†††† b.††† (1)† The immunity provided to a public employee by this section applies in addition to any other available immunity, and applies whether the exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related viral strain, or disease caused by either one, occurred because the person was required to be on the same public property as the public employee, or entered or remained on the property by express or implied invitation or permission, or exposure occurred at some other place in the course of the public employee providing government services, or doing volunteer work on behalf of a public entity as authorized by it.

†††† (2)†† Nothing in this section shall be deemed to:

†††† (a)†† grant immunity to any public employee causing damage by a willful, wanton, or grossly negligent act of commission or omission; or

†††† (b)†† affect a workerí compensation claim or award pursuant to any applicable State or federal law.

 

†††† 5.††† This act shall take effect immediately, and apply retroactively to the date that the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency was declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020 concerning the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill would establish general immunity for business entities, including non-profits, and institutions of higher education, and their officers, employees, agents, and volunteers, as well as public entities, including primary and secondary schools, and their employees, against actions relating to a personís exposure to the virus SARS-CoV-2 or the disease caused by the virus, Coronavirus disease 2019, also referred to as COVID-19, or a related viral strain to that virus or a disease caused by the related viral strain in subsequent years.† The immunity would be based on good faith reasonable compliance with or exceeding applicable health and safety measures to prevent or mitigate a personís exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related viral strain, or disease caused by either one, which are in effect at the time of an alleged exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related strain, or disease caused by either one, and which measures are based on guidance, regulations, rules, and administrative orders promulgated by applicable federal or State departments, divisions, commissions, boards, bureaus, or agencies, as well as applicable Executive Orders or portions of those orders issued by the Governor.† The immunity would bar civil lawsuits, and in the case of businesses and institutions of higher education, any administrative proceedings concerning professional disciplinary action, or suspension, revocation, refusal to issue or refusal to renew any license, certification, certificate, or permit, as applicable.†

†††† The immunity provided by the bill would apply in addition to any other available immunity, and would apply whether the exposure to SARS-CoV-2, a related viral strain, or disease caused by either one, occurred because a person was required to be on a businessí property, the campus or other property of an institution of higher education, or public property, or entered or remained on the property or campus by express or implied invitation or permission, or the exposure occurred at some other place in the course of conducting business, activities and operations, providing services, or doing volunteer work on behalf of a business, institution of higher education, or public entity as authorized by it.† However, nothing in the bill would be deemed to grant immunity for an entityís or personís willful, wanton, or grossly negligent act of commission or omission.† Additionally, the bill would not affect a workerí compensation claim or award pursuant to any applicable State or federal law.

†††† The bill would take effect immediately, and apply retroactively to March 9, 2020, the date the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency was declared by the Governorís Executive Order 103 of 2020 concerning the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.