SENATE BILL 4: LIMITING COVID-19 LIABILITY FOR BUSINESSES
The 32nd Special Session of the Nevada Legislature addressed many important issues. However, the one most concerning for businesses in Nevada was addressing potential COVID-19 liability.
The 32nd Special Session ended in the early hours of August 6, 2020 with the passage of Senate Bill 4 (SB4). SB4 grants immunity to many businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies from lawsuits arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic provided that they follow certain health standards.
Specifically, SB4 states that if an entity is in substantial compliance with controlling health standards set by federal, state, or local authorities, they are immune from legal liability for injury or death resulting from exposure to COVID-19. However, if it is proven that they violated controlling health standards with gross negligence and the gross negligence was the proximate cause of the injury or death, the immunity does not apply.
While this shield from legal liability covers many businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government entities, the following entities are explicitly excluded by the language of SB4:
- A business or nonprofit organization that operates an agency to provide nursing in the home, a facility for hospice care, a facility for intermediate care, a facility for skilled nursing, a hospital, or an independent center for emergency medical care.
- Any public school entity for preschool, kindergarten, or grades 1 through 12.
Governor Sisolak signed SB4 into law today, August 11, 2020. These provisions will apply to any cause of action or claim that accrues before, on, or after the effective date of SB4 and before the date the Governor terminates the Declaration of Emergency for COVID-19 issued on March 12, 2020 or July 1, 2023, whichever is later.
Nevada Association of Employers (NAE) will continue to follow the latest developments regarding COVID-19, including developments related to the implementation of SB4. We encourage Nevada businesses to join our mailing list to get the most up-to-date information and remain compliant. Not a member of NAE? Join today to begin enjoying all of the benefits of membership.
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