LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Vegas Chamber of Commerce is asking the state legislature to protect Nevada businesses from getting sued over coronavirus.
Organizations like the Nevada Resorts Association and Nevada Retail Association are joining the fight, saying it will preserve local jobs.
“We sent a formal letter to the governor and we have been in continuous contact with the various legislatures to discuss the importance of having liability protection from COVID lawsuits,” said Hugh Anderson, managing director of Hightower Las Vegas.
Anderson says the move would protect small business owners who are following the rules, adding that a lawsuit would be crippling for an employer and lead to more job loss.
“Any business that is complying with the CDC and state directives should be held harmless if one of their customers or employees gets COVID-19, because nobody can really tell where they got it from,” Anderson said.
Attorney and former assemblyman Justin Watkins argues that the move is asking for blanket immunity, which protects "bad actors."
“It’s protecting their bottom line at the expense of the safety of workers in the public,” Watkins said. “You only need to ask for further protection if you’re not doing the right thing right now. The system already protects you if you’re following the rules.”
Watkins says a lawsuit will already be thrown out if it’s considered unfounded.
“There’s a reason why you aren’t seeing any lawsuits against casinos or businesses because it’s incredibly hard to prove,” Watkins said.