July 21, 2020 - PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATE AND ASSEMBLY REPRESENTATIVES IMMEDIATELY TO URGE THEM TO OPPOSE A10840 Rules (Kim)/S8835 (Sepulveda)
Legislation was introduced last night to significantly roll back liability protections for physicians and health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact your State Senate and Assembly representatives and ask them to Vote "No" on A10840 Rules (Kim)/S8835 (Sepulveda). Use the Talking Points below.
This bill would, on a prospective basis, narrow the medical liability protections put in place in the final 2020-21 State Budget for physicians and health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. If this bill is passed, actions related to "assessment of care" and arranging for care" will no longer be protected.
This legislation will prevent hospitals and other health care facilities from re-developing capacity in case of a second "surge." During the first surge, protection from liability was absolutely critical to develop the capacity of the health care workforce to provide patient care on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis and that continues to be the case.
New York State is currently experiencing a decrease in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. However, another surge in the virus is possible given the lack of effective treatments and a vaccine as the State reopens, as well as huge spikes in the virus in numerous states.
This legislation opens the floodgates to litigation arising from extraordinarily challenging circumstances and "second guesses" the decisions of emergency physicians and all frontline healthcare providers.
It is important to understand that the current liability protections apply only to harm or damages alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission in the course of arranging for or providing health care services pursuant to the COVID-19 law that passed. Physicians, hospitals and other health care facilities are still liable for harm caused by willful or intentional criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct or intentional infliction of harm.
Urge Your Representatives to Vote "NO" on A10840 Rules (Kim)/S8835 (Sepulveda).