LEMOYNE, Pa. — PA State Grange President Wayne Campbell issued the following statement in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s veto of liability legislation:
The Pennsylvania State Grange is deeply disappointed with Governor Wolf’s veto Monday of House Bill 1737. This legislation would have done two things:
* Provided limited liability to farmers seeking to survive by utilizing agritourism as an additional income resource without fearing a frivolous lawsuit.
* Extending temporary limited liability to health care providers, manufacturers of COVID-19 personal protection equipment, schools, and businesses who are trying to comply with CDC and the PA Department of Health guidelines from a COVID-related lawsuit. This limited immunity would have expired at the end of the Governor’s Declaration of Emergency.
Both reasons are justified. Neither represent avoidance of litigation if there is clear negligence. This legislation could have been a solution. Governor Tom Wolf’s veto means that farmers will still be hindered from utilizing a self-help solution in these difficult times. Sadly, it still leaves a cloud of legal doubt over the work of businesses and health care providers trying to do the right thing.
We particularly find fault with the following veto justification from the Governor’s Office: “House Bill 1737 would have undermined COVID-19 mitigation efforts and endangered the public health by enacting overly broad immunity protections from civil liability due to the pandemic.”
We feel his explanation boils down to this simple statement: “House Bill 1737 would have undermined litigation efforts”
This is a really sad statement when you consider it is guidelines issued by the state that these businesses are following.
–Pennsylvania State Grange