On February 10, 2021, the recently elected Governor of Montana, Greg Gianforte, signed Senate Bill 65, which helps limit lawsuits associated with COVID-19 (coronavirus) against individuals, property owners, product manufacturers, and businesses. For businesses, the law essentially minimizes the risk of lawsuits for harm or damages associated with COVID-19, as long as the organization has behaved reasonably, including following public health guidance. However, if that public health guidance requires or recommends that someone wear a face mask, have their temperature taken, or get vaccinated, the business isn’t required to enforce those actions if the individual refuses to comply. The law goes into effect immediately and expires on January 1, 2031.
Tips: This law is certainly welcome news to the business community in Montana, but it doesn’t change anything about the importance of following the rules and guidance around COVID-19. In fact, it makes doing so even more important if your company ever plans on using this law to defend itself. For the current safety requirements and guidance in Montana, talk with your Vigilant safety professional. For advice on how this law might affect your business, reach out to your litigation attorney (and let us know if you need a referral). Your general liability insurance carrier and their attorneys may also be helpful resources.