Incoming House speaker calls for immediate action on COVID-19 lawsuits

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri House Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo has joined the call for immediate action on COVID-19 lawsuits in Missouri. 

In a Nov. 5 letter, Vescovo, the incoming Speaker of the Missouri House, asks Gov. Mike Parson to use a planned special session — which begins today — as an opportunity to also address the problem of COVID-19 lawsuits. Likewise, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also asking the governor and lawmakers to urgently address this problem. Since March, more than 1,000 COVID-19 lawsuits have been filed against employers across the nation. In response, many states — including all but one of Missouri’s neighboring states — have enacted some form of protection against lawsuits. Missouri has yet to take any action to stop opportunistic COVID-19 lawsuits, leaving Missouri employers completely exposed to litigation.

Since April, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been leading the call for action on this issue. More than 750 businesses and individuals have joined the Missouri Chamber in asking for a special session to shield businesses, schools and health facilities from COVID-19 lawsuits if they are following public health guidelines. 

“We thank Rep. Vescovo for his leadership on this issue. We believe there is widespread support among lawmakers for urgent action. The current special session is the perfect time to address this issue,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber. “We cannot afford to wait until January to address this problem. Let’s use this opportunity to pass this important reform so that businesses, schools and health facilities that follow public health guidelines are shielded from opportunistic COVID-19 lawsuits.”