BOMA Presses for Industry Liability Protections as Businesses Start to Reopen
As governments lift restrictions and local businesses start to reopen, there is still concern that despite the best efforts of the commercial real estate industry to promote health and safety in commercial buildings, this new environment may foster future liability issues that could stall recovery efforts. Employers are relying on the commercial real estate sector to provide the safe and healthy environments necessary to bring individuals back to their workplaces. However, the threat of COVID-related lawsuits is pervasive, requiring the need for federal and state legal protections that offer a tailored, specific legal safe harbor program for properties that follow public health rules, directives and guidelines and implement protective measures in good faith.
Liability protections have become a sticking point at the federal level in discussions over subsequent legislation, while several states have passed related bills and several more are considering similar legislation. BOMA International, with assistance from the Industry Fund, has been on the forefront of this issue, working with attorneys to assemble the best legal arguments and develop related materials. BOMA sent a letter to congressional leadership this week, and produced a talking points document and sample letter for use by the local associations at the state level.