INSTITUTE INDEX: Making it harder to sue businesses over COVID-19 damages

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing for the next COVID-19 bill to include legal immunity for businesses. (Official Senate photo.)

Date on which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) announced that the Senate wouldn't consider any further pandemic-related bills unless they prohibit lawsuits by workers or customers against businesses that they claim are negligent: 4/27/20
Amount of money the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform has spent so far this year to lobby Congress, including on "liability issues" related to COVID-19: $5,860,000
Date on which the National Association of Manufacturers released a statement calling for liability protections for its members during the pandemic: 4/22/2020
Date on which White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said he supported limiting coronavirus liability for businesses: 4/24/2020 
If a federal law banning such lawsuits passed, number of states whose civil laws and state constitutions could be overridden: 50
Date on which the North Carolina legislature unanimously passed a COVID-19 response bill making "essential businesses" immune from lawsuits by customers or employees who claim they contracted the virus because of the businesses' negligence: 5/2/2020
Number of North Carolina legislators who voted against the measure, which also provided pandemic-related funding: 0
Under the North Carolina law, percent of nursing homes in the state that will receive temporary immunity from lawsuits over negligent care, even if they're not treating COVID-19 patients: 100
Of the 19 nursing homes in North Carolina that have seen COVID-19 outbreaks, number that were short-staffed: 13
Number of nursing homes that would be granted immunity from patient lawsuits under an executive order that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is considering: 699
Date on which DeSantis met with a Republican legislator to discuss granting businesses immunity from lawsuits by customers and workers who contract COVID-19, as the state was reopening businesses: 4/30/2020
Number of patients and workers who have died so far from COVID-19 in Florida nursing homes: 444
Number of COVID-19 cases to date in Mississippi, where Gov. Tate Reeves (R) also supports legislation giving businesses immunity from lawsuits by customers and employees who get the virus: 6,569
Number of Mississippi meatpacking plants with COVID-19 outbreaks as of last month: 9 
Number of employees at U.S. meat packing facilities who have contracted COVID-19, according to the workers' union: 5,000
Number of U.S. meat packing workers who have died of the virus to date, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 20
(Click on figure to go to source.)