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RIMS supports safe harbor COVID-19 legislation


The Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. said Thursday it would support safe harbor COVID-19 legislation for businesses in cases in which the business was operating under federal health guidelines.

The statement said RIMS understands there must be a balance between a business owner’s need to operate without being exposed to unreasonable liability and the general public’s right to seek “just compensation for damages unreasonably caused by businesses.”

In a statement intended to guide its advocacy on the issue, RIMS said also it would support legislation that addresses businesses' negligence that results in bodily injury/property damage to third parties, on the condition it does not apply to allegations of gross negligence and/or willful misconduct. 

“In the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, organizations are encountering waves of crippling liability claims and are looking to government agencies and professional associations, like RIMS, for guidance,” Mark Humphreys, chair of the RIMS External Affairs Committee, said in a statement. 

“While the situation remains frenetic, RIMS encourages businesses to follow federal health recommendations to not only protect employees and customers as fully as possible, but to also better protect assets,” said Mr. Humphreys, who is vice president, litigation and risk management, for real estate developer Watt Cos. in Santa Monica, California.