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Apex General Counsel and Director of External Affairs Todd Rokita testified the afternoon of January 6 on behalf of Indiana businesses to the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Senate Bill 1. The proposed legislation provides civil immunity to businesses for damages as a result of an individual’s exposure to COVID-19 while on a business’ premises.
“In talking every day with small, midsize and even large Indiana companies, the idea that they could be erroneously held liable for something that is not their fault, is daunting in an already nerve-racking economic environment,” Indiana Attorney General Elect Rokita stated.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and deserve our protection at all times, and even more so in these difficult times,” he testified.
The Bill was originally authored by Indiana Senators Mark Messmer, Eric Koch and Elizabeth Brown. A January 4, 2021 Indiana Senate Republicans press release stated: “While there are no confirmed lawsuits of this nature in Indiana at this time, Messmer says Senate Bill 1 would act as a precautionary measure, ensuring no Hoosier businesses are overwhelmed and forced to cease operations by such an accusation.”
Joined by employers like Purdue University as well business owners and trades representatives, Rokita encouraged the lawmakers to support the Bill.
“Apex serves clients across all industries and public and private sectors. We know this is good public policy for them,” Rokita said. “We also know that our clients care about their employees, trying their best to take care of them during this uncertain time.
“Despite their best efforts to adapt, they (businesses) have been disproportionately affected by economic fallout from the pandemic. The policy in this bill will give them at least some certainty. We must take a stand to give businesses a fighting a chance and this legislation is an important step to do that.”