Senate Bill 4 was recently signed into law by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. The bill will help protect entertainment businesses, including casinos, from legal action in relation to the coronavirus. The bill provides added protection as long as a business operates based on Covid-19 requirements in the state.
In a world that has now been taken over by the coronavirus, things are different. In the US, most states have some type of mask order in place, where residents need to wear a face covering when in public. Some areas still have businesses shut down while others are less strict. Overall, states are trying as a whole to get back to some form or normalcy. This includes reopening restaurants and retail outlets as well as entertainment venues like casinos.
With that reopening process, there is a worry that such facilities will be subject to a coronavirus outbreak. One reason that masks are being worn is to try and slow the spread of the deadly virus. Each business, such as casinos, have regulations and measures they must meet regarding safety and health to be in compliance in the given state, protecting both guests and employees. In Nevada, this latest bill ensures that companies that follow such protocols cannot be hit with a lawsuit if someone contracts the virus.
Providing Protection via Legal Immunity
It is not uncommon to come across a business that has closed down for a few days due to a coronavirus outbreak. When this happens, the facility is cleaned and business begins again as soon as the all clear is given. Consumers know the risk of being out and about and many are not adhering to certain protocols that the federal government suggests such as wearing a mask and social distancing. This can lead to infection and some people might feel they have a right to legal action if they contract the virus while visiting a casino or going out to dinner.
In Nevada, Sisolak explained the bill is about the economic survival of the state and not about an economic expansion. It acknowledges that the state relies on the hospitality to survive and lawmakers must do all they can to ensure the state makes it through this ‘historic storm’.
The new bill puts measures in place to protect employees and customers. Casinos and hotels are legally required to develop a strategy that prevents the spread of the virus. Everyone is to maintain a six foot social distance from each other. Casinos are to offer hand sanitization stations for hand washing. Casinos also should have Plexiglass screening in place where needed.
When these measures are taken seriously, a casino has the legal protection needed if a customer or employee tries to sue for contracting the virus. Failure to comply sees the protection fade away. No shield will be available when it comes to lawsuits related to the contraction of the virus or death.
While the measure is good for casinos and hotels, the Nevada Hospital Association feels it should also extend to healthcare facilities. They feel that liability protections need to be in place onsite to protect patients, employees as well as the overall facility.