Senate Passes “Safe Harbor” Bill; Contains Protections for Higher Ed

The Tennessee State Capitol Building at sunset.

The “Tennessee Recovery and Safe Harbor Act,” sponsored by Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville), passed unanimously on the Senate floor last week. The measure provides protection to a number of private businesses, non-profit agencies, and government institutions and agencies (including UT), against unsupported legal claims associated with the COVID-19 virus. Also, the measure provides an additional level of legal protection for entities that choose to comply with public health guidelines.

This bill aims to protect a wide array of entities including public and private institutions of higher education from being liable for exposure, illness, or death related to the COVID-19 virus unless it was caused by gross negligence or reckless and willful misconduct. The House is set to debate its measure, HB2623 by Rep. Michael Curcio (R-Dickson), on the floor next week.

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