Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds today signed into law SF 2338, granting a wide array of COVID-related liability protections. Click on the S.F. 2338 hyperlink below for the full language of the bill.
Iowa | S.F. 2338
Sent to Governor 6/16/2020
- Actual injury requirement. A claim for COVID-19 exposure may not be filed unless it alleges a minimum medical condition (a diagnosis of COVID-19 that requires inpatient hospitalization or results in death), unless the act was intended to cause harm or constitutes actual malice.
- Limit on premises liability. A person who directly or indirectly invites or permits an individual onto a premises is not liable for any injuries sustained from the individual’s exposure to COVID-19 unless the person (1) recklessly disregards a substantial and unnecessary risk that the individual would be exposed to COVID-19; (2) acted with actual malice; or (3) intentionally exposes the individual to COVID-19.
- Safe harbor for compliance. A person is not liable for exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 if the act or omission alleged to violate a duty of care was in substantial compliance or was consistent with any federal or state statute, regulation, order, or public health guidance related to COVID-19 that was applicable to the person or activity at issue at the time of the alleged exposure.
- Public health guidance includes written guidance issued by the CDC, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, OSHA, Office of the Governor, or any state agency.
- Limit on health care provider liability. A health care provider (including a professional, health care facility, home health care facility, or any other person or facility authorized to administer health care) is not liable for causing or contributing, directly or indirectly, to the death or injury of an individual resulting from the provider’s acts or omissions in support of the state’s response to COVID-19.
- Applies to:
- An injury or death resulting from screening, assessing, diagnosing, caring for, or treating individuals with COVID-19;
- Prescribing, administering, or dispensing pharmaceuticals for off-label use to treat a patient with COVID-19; or
- Acts or omissions while providing health care to individuals unrelated to COVID-19 when care is affected by COVID-19 (includes examples).
- Does not apply to reckless or willful misconduct.
- Product liability protections.
- A person that designs, manufactures, labels, sells, distributes, or donates household disinfecting or cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment, or a qualified product in response to COVID-19 is not liable in an action alleging personal injury, death, or property damage resulting from:
- The product’s design, manufacturing, labeling, sale, distribution, or donation; or
- A failure to provide proper instructions or sufficient warnings.
- A qualified product includes:
- Personal protective equipment used to protect the wearer from COVID-19 or to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Medical devices, equipment, and supplies used to treat COVID-19, including medical devices, equipment, or supplies that are used or modified for an unapproved use to treat COVID-19 or to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Medical devices, equipment, and supplies used outside of their normal use to treat COVID-19 or to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Medications used to treat COVID-19, including medications prescribed or dispensed for off-label use to attempt to treat COVID-19.
- Tests to diagnose or determine immunity to COVID-19.
- Any component of these products.
- Does not apply if a person:
- Had actual knowledge of a defect in the product when put to the use for which the product was designed, manufactured, sold, distributed, or donated, and the person recklessly disregarded a substantial and unnecessary risk that the product would cause serious personal injury, death, or serious property damage; or
- Acted with actual malice.
- Applies retroactively to January 1, 2020.