Earlier this summer the Georgia legislature came together in support of businesses to craft much-demanded legislation to protect business owners from the liability associated with claims that customers and employees contracted COVID-19 in their place of business. The Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act (GCPBSA) went into effect last Friday, August 7, and expands upon language originally extended to healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities.
Protection is now provided for nearly all public, private, sacred or governmental entities and their owners, leaders and employees. The legislation specifies that no entity or person can be held liable unless the claimant can prove gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm.
Organizations can communicate a presumptive assumption of risk by claimant entering their premises in one of two ways:
- Providing a receipt or proof of purchase for entry that includes the following statement in at least 10-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.’
- Post a sign at the point of entry with the following statement in at least one-inch Arial font placed apart from any other text:
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.
Protection is provided for businesses and individuals from COVID-19 exposure claims that accrue before July 14, 2021. For further interpretation of this legislation, please visit this legal alert from our friends at Fisher Phillips.