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Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

August 7, 2020

NYS Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Limiting Immunity for COVID-19-Related Health Care Services

In a prior alert, we discussed the NYS Legislature’s bill (S. 8835/A.10840) that was passed by the state Senate and Assembly and limits the immunities granted to health care providers and other entities during COVID-19. On August 3, Governor Cuomo signed the legislation into law, and the bill is effective immediately. While the bill does not have a retroactive effect, the bill sponsors may seek retroactive application following the state’s ongoing hearings on the impact of the pandemic, including an examination of the fatalities in residential health care facilities and the impact of COVID-19 on hospitals.

The most significant changes to the statute include the removal of immunity protections for health care facilities and health care professionals “arranging for” health care services, amending the definition of “health care services” eligible for immunity from liability by removing “prevention” of COVID-19, and clarifying that the immunity applies to the assessment or care of an individual as it relates to COVID-19.

The changes to the immunity statute mean that residential health care facilities and hospitals in New York State can be held liable in lawsuits for care provided to patients not being treated for COVID-19. These health care facilities will no longer have immunity for care not related to COVID-19 from now until the state’s COVID-19 emergency declaration ends.

Barclay Damon attorneys are staying up to date on changes made to laws governing NYS health care providers during the COVID-19 crisis. We continue to advise providers to thoroughly document services provided in the assessment and care of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Linda Clark, Health Care Controversies Team leader, at lclark@barclaydamon.com; Mary Connolly, associate, at mconnolly@barclaydamon.com; or another member of the firm’s Health Care Controversies Team.

We also have a specific team of Barclay Damon attorneys who are actively working on assessing regulatory, legislative, and other governmental updates related to COVID-19 and who are prepared to assist clients. Please contact Yvonne Hennessey, COVID-19 Response Team leader, at yhennessey@barclaydamon.com or any member of the COVID-19 Response Team at COVID-19ResponseTeam@barclaydamon.com.

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