Sweet Law Firm crafted the proposed legislation below that would make health care workers and health care entities immune from liability during the COVID-19 pandemic. We worked with Oklahoma House and Senate leadership and other thought leaders in Oklahoma’s health care industry to quickly implement these critical liability protections. While the final version of SB300 did not include the full scope of immunity we were seeking, the majority of the bill is based on our proposed model. We are continuing to work with the legislature to expand the protections included in SB300.
STATE OF OKLAHOMA
2nd Session of the 57th Legislature (2020)
HOUSE BILL NO. [NUMBER] By:
An Act relating to torts; making certain individuals and entities providing medical care to patients during the public health emergency declared by the Governor due to the COVID-19 pandemic immune from civil liability in certain situations; providing exceptions; defining terms; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:
SECTION 1. NEW LAW. A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 5.10 of Title 76, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:
A. This section shall be known as the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Limited Liability Act.
B. A health care provider or health care facility shall be immune from civil liability for any loss or harm to person or property caused by an act or omission that occurs during the COVID-19 public health emergency, if:
1. The act or omission occurred in the course of arranging for or providing health care services and the treatment of the individual was impacted by the health care provider’s or health care entity’s decisions, activities, staffing, or the availability of facilities or equipment in response to or as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency; and
2. The loss or harm to person or property was not caused by the gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of the health care provider or health care facility.
C. For purposes of this section:
1. “COVID-19 public health emergency” means any emergency declared by the Governor of Oklahoma, President of the United States, or the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services related to COVID-19, including but not limited to the emergency declared by the Governor by Executive Order, and any amendments thereto, under the Oklahoma Emergency Management Act of 2003, 63 O.S. § 683.1, et seq.
, beginning on March 15, 2020, the health emergency declared by the Governor by Executive Order, and any amendments thereto, under the Catastrophic Health Emergency Powers Act, 63 O.S. § 6101 et seq
., beginning on April 2, 2020, and the public health emergency declared by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services under Section 319 of the Public Health Services Act, 42 U.S.C. 247d, beginning on January 31, 2020.
2. “Health care provider” and “health care facility” are defined as provided in Section 6104 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
3. “Health care services” means any services provided by a health care provider, health care facility, or by an individual working under a health care provider’s or health care facility’s supervision, that relate to the diagnosis, assessment, prevention, treatment, or care of any human illness, disease, injury, or condition.
D. This section shall apply to all civil actions filed after the effective date of this act and apply to any claim arising during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
SECTION 2. It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.
SECTION 3. This section shall be in effect until October 31, 2024.
Click here to download this draft as a PDF