In the wee hours of August 6, 2020, the Nevada Legislature passed SB4 – a law affording certain protections to businesses from COVID-claims. There are several things you need to know and, more importantly, do to protect your business.
Under SB4, most for profit and non-profit businesses (except private healthcare facilities and public schools) are given greater protection against claims for COVID-injuries. However, those protections are not absolute. The law states that for the claim to succeed, a claimant must:
- Plead the claim with particularity (in other words specific allegations concerning how and when the injury occurred and what the business did to enable that);
- Prove that the business, while in substantial compliance with controlling health standards, it still violated those standards with gross negligence and that gross negligence was the proximate cause of the injury; or
- That the business was not in substantial compliance with controlling health standards.
In plain English, this means that if your business is not in substantial compliance with controlling health standards or engages in gross negligence, then your business can still be held liable for a COVID-related claim.
So, what do you need to know?
- What is the controlling health standard?
- How do you prove substantial compliance?
“Controlling health standard” is defined as any federal, state, local law, rule, ordinance or written order. Currently Nevada businesses are governed by federal, state and local mandates that frequently change. Furthermore, there are some mandates that are industry specific. Thus, it is important that you remain vigilant in reviewing all mandates that affect your business. Gordon Law posts on all of its social media accounts updates as they become available that affect Nevada businesses. We strongly encourage you to follow us at avivagordonesq on Twitter and Gordonlawlv on Instagram.
“Substantial compliance” is defined as the good faith efforts of the business to help control the spread of COVID-19 with controlling health standards. The law specifically states that substantial compliance may be demonstrated by establishing policies and procedures to enforce and implement the controlling health standards. Again, plain English means that you should have written policies and procedures for your business. The failure to have and maintain these in writing may lead to a determination that your business was not in substantial compliance and thus, not immune to liability. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you have such written policies and procedures. Please know Gordon Law remains available to assist you with the creation and revision of these policies.
There are tremendous benefits to this new law, but you need to make sure you understand and implement it properly. Please contact Gordon Law for any assistance in this regard.