Earlier this week, Gov. Henry McMaster signed the South Carolina COVID-19 Liability Immunity Act into law — which protects businesses and organizations from being sued for alleged coronavirus exposure.
While most businesses and organizations in South Carolina have been open for most of the pandemic, some neighborhood associations — such as the Rookery of Hilton Head Plantation on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina — have kept their neighborhood pools closed in fear of getting sued for COVID-19 claims.
The law, Senate Bill 147, allows those neighborhood associations to open their amenities without the fear of being sued.
“This law provides community associations across South Carolina, like Hilton Head Plantation, and association agents, with protection from lawsuits regarding COVID-19 claims, like common areas and community facilities reopen for communities that act in good faith,” Hilton Head Plantation POA officials said in a news release Friday.
More than 38,000 people sent emails urging South Carolina lawmakers to sign the COVID-10 Liability Act into law.
The law provides a much-needed security net for small business owners across the state, Americans for Prosperity-South Carolina Interim State Director Candace Carroll said in a statement.
“Businesses who safely reopen and take proper precautions for COVID-19 should not be faced with frivolous lawsuits,” Carroll said. “When many businesses are struggling to keep their doors open, the last thing we should do is make it easier to usher in a flood of lawsuits that makes it even harder for them to recover.”
The law retroactively protects businesses that have been sued for COVID-19 exposure-related claims for any cases filed between March 13, 2020 and June 30, 2021, or 180 days after the state of emergency is lifted.
South Carolina is one of the last states in the nation pass a COVID-19 liability protection bill.
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