The Kentucky General Assembly has been diligently working on some new legislation in light of the COVID-19 virus pandemic. There are three sections we’d like to call your attention to:
5(b)(starting on page 5) Healthcare providers during the COVID-19 emergency have a defense to civil liability if they act in good faith and if the health care provider acts as an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent health care provider would have acted in the same or similar circumstances.
10 (page 9) Gives a defense for ordinary negligence and product liability to companies who don’t ordinarily make PPEs, masks, etc. so long as the business has acted in good faith and in an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent manner under the same or similar circumstances.
11 (page 9) For the purposes of complying with any law, rule, order or other requirement relating to the receipt of testimony or signature from any party or witness, or the acknowledgement or notarization of any document, for any legal purpose, video communication is the same as being in the physical presence.
The bill made history by passing both chambers without going through the committee system within about seven hours. Most legislators saw the bill minutes before voting on it. We are extremely grateful this is the version of the bill that passed.
With the help of our friends in the General Assembly, this is the final product. New York and other states, have implemented immunity unless there is gross negligence. Because of the specific language listed in Kentucky’s bill, there an opening for the 7th Amendment and it’s not reckless, blanket immunity.