The Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up SB 6, the Pandemic Liability Protection Act, earlier today. George Christian, TCJL Senior Counsel, explained the business premises liability and product liability provisions of the bill, while Brian Jackson, General Counsel of the Texas Alliance for Patient Access (an umbrella group representing major health care provider organizations, laid out the health care liability sections. Matt Broaddus, Senior Counsel for Dow and a member of the TCJL Board of Directors, presented testimony addressing Dow’s ongoing health and safety compliance program and its manufacturing activities relating to the pandemic, which have included making hand sanitizer, plastic resins for face masks, hospital gowns, and powered air purifying respirators. Dow donated these products to the state and to local partners, including hospitals near Dow facilities. Dr. Manish Naik, an internist and Chief Medical Information Officer of Austin Regional Clinic, spoke to the impact of COVID-19 on health care delivery to both COVID and non-COVID patients. Texas Trial Lawyers Association President Jim Perdue and Past President Jay Harvey registered as neutral on the bill. TAPA and TTLA continue to work on refining the parameters for when a health care service is “related to or impacted by” COVID.
TCJL deeply appreciates supporting testimony at the hearing by Lee Parsley, General Counsel of Texans for Lawsuit Reform; Glenn Hamer, President and CEO of the Texas Association of Business; and Richard Perez, President & CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. We are also grateful for the dozens of TCJL members and allied organizations that registered in favor of the bill. Now we focus on moving the bill out of committee and to the Senate floor.