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Patton Supports 'Good Samaritan Expansion Bill,' the Legislation Passes Ohio House

May 28, 2020
Thomas F. Patton News

State Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) today voted in support of House Bill 606, the Good Samaritan Expansion Bill. The legislation passed within the Ohio House and seeks to protect individuals, healthcare professionals, and businesses from unforeseen liability arising out of the pandemic.

“People who have worked so hard to provide for their communities in essential ways should not have to be penalized with these types of devastating suits during this unprecedented time,” said Patton.

The Good Samaritan Expansion Bill ensures civil immunity to the health care community, businesses, schools, and individuals from lawsuits arising out of the pandemic. Health care providers are immune for the actions, omissions, decisions or compliance with government orders with the exception that it constitutes reckless disregard for life or health of the patient. While businesses, individuals, and families receive immunity for the transmission, contraction, or exposure to SARS, MERS, COVID-19 or any mutation unless they are reckless, participate in willful and wanton, or intentional misconduct.

The immunity is set to last from March 9, 2020, the date of the emergency declaration through December 31, 2020.

Looking to the future, Patton noted that homeowner associations would be covered under this bill as it would be important in relation to swimming pools opening during the summer.

Throughout the legislation’s time in committee, several organizations have submitted supporting testimony including the Ohio Healthcare Association, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Ohio Association of Civil Justice, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Athletic Trainers Association, National Federation of Independent Business, Ohio Salon Association, Ohio Manufacturers Association, Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, Ohio Dental Association, Ohio Hospital Association, and many others.

“We’ve seen lots of support thrown behind this legislation and I am proud to represent my district in voting to support it today,” said Patton. “I’d like to give a special thanks to Strongsville Councilman Jim Kaminski for shedding light on this issue.”

The legislation passed out of the House Civil Justice Committee earlier this week before proceeding to the House floor. With an emergency clause within the bill, it would be enacted immediately when signed into law. The bill now awaits further action in the Senate.