TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Lytton on Tort Reform and COVID-19

Tim Lyttton has posted to SSRN Responsive Analysis:  Public Health Federalism and Tort Reform in the U.S. Response to COVID-19.  The abstract provides:

Tort liability offers a means of incentivizing healthcare facilities and businesses to adopt reasonable measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Reliance on tort liability to regulate the risk of disease transmission is consistent with the decentralized approach to public health policy and the aversion to government mandates that have characterized the U.S. pandemic response. However, thirty-six states, via legislation and executive orders, have shielded healthcare facilities and businesses from civil liability for COVID-19 transmission. Tort reform advocates lobbied successfully for these measures by arguing, contrary to the available empirical evidence, that sweeping immunity from civil liability was necessary to prevent a costly flood of litigation.

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