COLUMBUS— State Rep. Jeffrey Crossman (D-Parma) today voted against Sub. House Bill (HB) 606, which restricts the ability of Ohioans to seek damages for negligent exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
This bill may end up causing more harm than good to Ohio’s economy, and more importantly, it will cause more harm to the people of Ohio,” said Rep. Crossman. “By passing this bill, you will have raised the bar to get into court while simultaneously lowering the standard of acceptable safety measures. How does that help our economy if people don’t feel comfortable returning to work? Our legal system already provides sufficient leeway to business and medical providers to respond to this crisis without the fear of being sued and without eliminating constitutionally protected legal rights, as this bill does.”
HB 606 is an interventionist measure by the legislature that helps some businesses at the expense of others, and it provides a shield for people acting carelessly. While proponents have argued about an impending “tidal wave” of lawsuits, Rep. Crossman pointed out that few cases have actually materialized and are unlikely to do so given the difficulty of proving someone transmitted the virus to another. “It’s why we don’t have a flood of flu lawsuits every year.” said Rep. Crossman.
The bill increases the threshold before someone could file a lawsuit and requires someone to prove someone was “reckless” rather than negligent.