Lawsuit industry more important to Governor Wolf than COVID-19 recovery, PMA says

Harrisburg, PA (November 30, 2020) – The Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association responds to Governor Tom Wolf’s veto of HB 1737, a targeted, temporary, and necessary response to the threat of frivolous lawsuits by Pennsylvania's litigation industry, which views the COVID-19 pandemic as a business opportunity.

The following statement is attributed to PMA’s President & CEO, David N. Taylor:

“Pennsylvania’s manufacturers are deeply disappointed that Governor Wolf has prioritized the litigation industry above everyone who will ultimately fight and win the battle against COVID-19 in the commonwealth. This bill was a targeted, temporary, and necessary response to the threat of frivolous lawsuits by Pennsylvania's litigation industry, which views the COVID-19 pandemic as a business opportunity.”

“Today, Governor Wolf vetoed a bill that would have protected the manufacturers that have re-tooled to meet the dire need for personal protective equipment and the medical professionals who are on the front lines caring for COVID-19 patients. Pennsylvania's small businesses, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, childcare centers, universities, colleges, farms, and local governments that are following Wolf’s own government health guidelines deserve these needed protections.”

“Liability protections encourage business and nonprofit entities to follow the lead of government agencies in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. Throughout this pandemic, the private sector has done what it does best – respond, innovate, and overcome; even amidst the ever-shifting mandates, guidances, and policies of the Wolf Administration.”

“To be clear, this legislation would not have provided complete immunity for anyone. It simply would have ensured that if businesses, institutions, and organizations follow public health directives set by federal or state governments, they would have been granted basic protections against being sued. People and entities covered by this legislation would still have been liable for any intentionally wrongful acts and acts considered legally reckless.”                                                                                                          

“This isn’t the first time that Governor Wolf has privileged the litigation industry above everyone and everything else; it recalls his 2018 veto of SB 936, which would have protected injured workers from quack medicine and opioid addiction. This veto is the latest example of the public good being sacrificed on the altar of politics to protect Tom Wolf’s high-level campaign donors in the Philadelphia-based lawsuit industry.” 

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