The Corner

U.S.

Reopening Businesses Need a Safe Harbor

My Bloomberg Opinion column makes the case for protecting companies from lawsuits and some regulations in order to let them resume their operations safely:

What companies need is not immunity from all litigation related to Covid-19, but a safe harbor. They need to know, that is, what they have to do to avoid lawsuits. To see why a safe harbor is needed, consider the argument that it isn’t. John Culhane, a fellow at Delaware Law School, writes in Slate that “current liability law is not going to pose burdensome difficulties on businesses that take reasonable action to keep their customers safe.” Reassuring. But just a paragraph later, we learn that “the issue of what’s reasonable quickly gets sticky.”

Well, yes. That’s why companies would prefer to have some clarity on what they will be held responsible for. . . .

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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