It will be doctors and nurses on the front lines versus opportunistic trial lawyers when Congress returns to Washington on May 4 and begins consideration of the fifth major CCP virus recovery bill in recent months.
Odds are good that Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) will be a major player. He told The Epoch Times on April 28 that “ambulance chasers shouldnt turn a pandemic into a payday.”
He says “doctors and nurses around the country have enough to worry about fighting this virus, they shouldnt have to worry about frivolous lawsuits. My bill would give our doctors and nurses some common-sense liability protections. Theyve got our backs, we ought to have theirs.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) set the stage April 27 by noting the need for additional legal protections for medical personnel fighting the CCP virus, also known as the novel coronavirus, against costly, time-consuming lawsuits.
“A massive tangle of federal and state laws could easily mean their heroic efforts are met with years of endless lawsuits,” McConnell said, warning against what he called “the biggest trial lawyer bonanza in history.”
McConnell said that while some protections were included in previous recovery legislation, “the brave health care workers battling this virus, and the entrepreneurs who will reopen our economy, deserve strong protections from opportunistic lawsuits. … We will need to expand and strengthen them.”
He was referring to a provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that protects manufacturers of N95 medical masks from lawsuits filed by users claiming product failure.
That means a proposal introduced by Sasse is likely to be the major focus of the legislative debate.
“In ERs and ICUs across America, doctors and nurses are writing the playbook as they fight this virus one day at a time. These heroes need a common-sense liability shield so that they dont have to worry about lawsuits while theyre scrambling to save lives,” Sasse said in a statement accompanying the March 30 introduction of his proposal.
“This legislation gives emergency liability and patent protections to health care professionals who are innovating on the front lines. America is going to beat this virus. Congress needs to make sure that Phase Four legislation protects our doctors and nurses from a plague of lawsuits,” he said.
Democrats in Congress will oppose legislation such as the Sasse proposal as a direct threat to one of their most powerful and dependable special-interest supporters.
More than 97 percent of political contributions by the American Association for Justice (AAJ), formerly known as the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA), have gone to Democrats to date in the 2020 campaign, according to opensecrets.org.
The percentage has barely changed in every election since 1990, and incumbent Democrats in Congress have always been the primary recipients.
Trial lawyers also account for the bulk of contributions overall that make support by lawyers and law firms the Democratic Partys second-largest source of contributions.
Not all Democrats do the bidding of trial lawyers, however. Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas joined with former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Republican, in a USA Today op-ed last week, oRead More From Source