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Tennessee healthcare providers given limited liability protection amid COVID-19 pandemic

Jul 7, 2020

On July 1, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee executed Executive Order 53 (“EO 53”), which provides individual and institutional healthcare providers with limited protection against liability for their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. EO 53 is available here.

Specifically, the Order grants liability protection to healthcare providers who are licensed, certified or authorized under titles 33, 63, or 68 of the Tennessee Code and are rendering services within the limits of their license, certification or authorization. These titles govern many different healthcare providers, including physicians, dentists, pharmacists, hospitals, ambulatory surgical treatment centers, assisted-care living facilities and substance abuse treatment facilities.

The providers covered by EO 53 are not liable for any illness, injury, death or damages related to the contraction or suspected contraction of COVID-19 if they are acting within the limits of their licenses, certifications or authorizations. This protection extends to acts or omissions resulting from lack of resources attributable to or arising out of the provider’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic that renders the provider unable to provide the level or manner of care or services that would otherwise be required. However, this protection does not apply to acts or omissions caused by gross negligence or willful misconduct.

EO 53 is effective until July 31, 2020.

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