COVID 19 Immunity for Health Care Providers
It is axiomatic that the COVID-19 global pandemic has had an enormous impact on our health care profession. After months of serving our communities as front-line responders, health care providers now find themselves subject to potential administrative and civil liability. News reports regarding the spread of Corona Virus in the health care setting, as well as law firms advertising for clients impacted by the disease, are widespread. Equally troubling, Maryland skilled nursing facilities have come under recent fire from the Attorney General’s Office, with some local facilities facing six figure fines.
While there are no doubt a myriad of defense available to potential COVID claims, many may not be aware that, in Maryland, there is a statute which can be used to argue that health care providers have civil immunity from such lawsuits. See, Maryland Code, Public Safety, § 14-3A-06. This is in addition to potential immunity under the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (“PREP Act”). See, 42 USC 247(d) et. seq. Yet another source of potential immunity in the context of administrative, civil and criminal fines can be found at Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. § 18-907. These statutes are not meant to be an exhaustive list of defenses and there is also the potential for future federal and state immunity provisions as legislation for a rapidly evolving response progresses in Congress.
Our dedicated health care providers have enough challenges protecting themselves and treating patients in the face of an unprecedent health crisis without having to worry about negative media attention, threats of civil fines, and advertising by law firms for new clients. That is why our attorneys are ready to assist clients protect themselves from legal challenges posed by the pandemic. For more information on whether COVID-19 immunity may exist for a health care provider, contact the attorneys at Walker, Murphy & Nelson, LLP today.
Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein constitutes legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. All persons reviewing this should consult counsel for advice regarding any specific legal questions and any unauthorized use of this information is expressly prohibited.