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ANALYSIS: PREP Act Decisions May Lead to Spike in Covid Lawsuits

May 10, 2022, 9:00 AM

Senior living facilities and other health-care providers are facing a growing number of civil lawsuits in state court arising from Covid-related injuries and deaths. The plaintiffs in these cases are seemingly working around the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act), a federal statute enacted in 2005 that was designed to provide health-care providers, among others, with immunity from liability for claims arising from a public health emergency (except for claims of willful misconduct).

The statute’s liability immunity appears broad—which was reassuring at a time when little was known about the Covid-19 virus and its course, complications, variations, preventive ...