Governor DeWine Signs Bill Into Law

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Today, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 606 into law. House Bill 606, sponsored by Representative Diane Grendell, ensures civil immunity to individuals, schools, health care providers, businesses, and other entities from lawsuits arising from exposure, transmission, or contraction of COVID-19, or any mutation of the virus, as long as they were not showing reckless, intentional, or willful misconduct.

It also shields health care providers from liability in tort actions regarding the care and services they provide during this pandemic unless they were acting recklessly or displaying intentional misconduct.

House Bill 606 was supported by several associations, including the AICUO, CCAO, Inter-University Council of Ohio, NFIB, Ohio Association of Community Colleges, Ohio Business Roundtable, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Ohio Metro Chambers Coalition, Ohio Municipal League, Ohio Restaurant Association, Ohio School Boards Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio’s Superintendent Association and Ohio Township Association among others.  Included are a few statements of support.

“Ohio businesses stepped up when asked to help with this pandemic crisis and we are pleased that the Senate and House, along with the governor, have acted to help protect jobs and our economy.”

Andrew E. Doehrel, President & CEO, Ohio Chamber of Commerce

“On behalf of the 1,200 members of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA), we thank you for signing House Bill (HB) 606 into law today, September 14, 2020. In a time of uncertainty, Ohio’s educational leaders are working tirelessly so that our children can learn in safe, supportive environments. HB 606 provides additional protections for Ohio’s schools as they seek to return students to the classroom and to as much normalcy as possible. Thank you for your sensitivity to the countless challenges our schools are facing. Your support of HB 606 is one of the many ways you have partnered with Ohio’s schools to help them navigate the unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Kirk Hamilton, Ph.D., Executive Director, Ohio’s Superintendent Association

“On behalf of Ohio’s public universities, the Inter-University Council of Ohio thanks you for your support for House Bill 606, which will provide to Ohio’s public universities appropriate liability protection from litigation arising from the coronavirus.  We appreciate the action you took today to sign the bill so that it becomes law for the state of Ohio.”

Bruce Johnson, President & CEO, Inter-University Council of Ohio

Governor DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, and Ohio Speaker of the House Robert Cupp via videoconference.

Additionally, Governor DeWine signed Executive Order 2020-37D on Thursday, September 10, establishing the Ohio Traffic Safety Council. Governor DeWine announced the formation of the new council at the September 1st press conference.