Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act
Owners and managers of all classes of real property should consider the implications of the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act (the “Act”), which was signed into law on August 5, 2020 and grants protections against certain COVID-19 liability claims. Specifically, the Act grants protection from COVID-19 liability claims arising on any property owned, occupied, leased, operated, maintained, or managed by an individual or entity, whether residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial, or other real property located within the State of Georgia.
The Act provides further protection against COVID-19 liability claims if:
A. Any receipt or proof of purchase for entry (for example, a ticket or wristband) issued to a claimant for entry or attendance includes the following statement in at least ten-point Arial font placed apart from any other text:
“Any person entering the premises waives all civil liability against this premises owner and operator for any injuries caused by the inherent risk associated with contracting COVID-19 at public gatherings, except for gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm, by the individual or entity of the premises.”; or
B. Any entity or individual posts a sign at a point of entry to the premises containing the following warning in at least one-inch Arial font placed apart from any other text:
“Warning: Under Georgia law, there is no liability for an injury or death of an individual entering these premises if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of contracting COVID-19. You are assuming this risk by entering these premises.”
The protections provided by the Act expire after July 14, 2021, and do not apply if a claimant proves that the actions of the entity or individual showed gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm.
A thorough review of the Act is advised and can be accessed using the following link: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20192020/195211.pdf