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Iowa - COVID-19 Response and Back-to-Business Limited Liability Act

On June 18, 2020, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed legislation (SF 2338) enacting the Ohio COVID-19 Response and Back-to-Business Limited Liability Act. Under the act, an individual must experience actual injury to bring a lawsuit alleging that they were exposed to COVID-19 exposure, such as a medical condition, an action intended to cause harm or that constitutes actual malice. The act also generally protects premise owners against liability when someone on their premises is exposed to COVID-19, unless the owner:

  • Recklessly disregards a substantial and unnecessary risk that the individual would be exposed to COVID-19.
  • Expose the individual to COVID-19 through an act that constitutes actual malice.
  • Intentionally exposes the individual to COVID-19.

The act also creates safe harbor protections by limiting civil damage liability for any injuries sustained from COVID-19 exposure, or potential exposure, if the act or omission alleged to violate a duty of care complied with an applicable COVID-19 federal or state statute, regulation, order, or public health guidance that was effective when the exposure occurred.

The law took effect July 1, 2020 but applies retroactively to January 1, 2020.