Pennsylvania Executive Order Affords COVID-19 Civil Liability Immunity to Health Care Practitioners, But Not Facilities
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Pennsylvania Executive Order Affords COVID-19 Civil Liability Immunity to Health Care Practitioners, But Not Facilities

Key Takeaways

  • Pennsylvania executive order provides limited civil liability immunity to health care practitioners during the COVID-19 public health crisis

  • The immunity shall not apply to willful misconduct, gross negligence, or health care services pertaining to non-COVID-19 medical or health care

  • Notably, the order does not extend immunity to health care facilities or entities themselves

 

On May 6, 2020, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf implemented an executive order providing limited civil liability immunity to health care providers during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Under the order, any individual holding a license, certificate, registration, or certification to practice a health care profession or occupation in Pennsylvania shall not be liable for the death or injury to a person arising from emergency or disaster services activities related to the outbreak.

However, immunity from civil liability shall not arise from willful misconduct, gross negligence, or health care services pertaining to non-COVID-19 medical or health care. Further, the order does not afford civil liability immunity to the health care facilities or entities themselves.

In response to the order, LeadingAge PA, an association representing more than 360 nonprofit providers of services for seniors, issued a statement expressing dissatisfaction. “We thank Governor Wolf for providing immunity to the employees of our member organizations on the frontlines of this pandemic. But it is not enough. We remain shocked and dumbfounded on why this administration continues to ignore the needs of Pennsylvania’s nursing facilities and health care providers; they are in the epicenter of this pandemic and providers need protection in the form of immunity,” said LeadingAge PA President and Chief Executive Officer Adam Marles.

For more information regarding Pennsylvania’s executive order, please contact: