Update: Limiting Exposure from Exposure: Liability of Essential Service Providers in the Context of COVID-19

Essential service providers liability insurance covid-19 exposure coronavirus virus emergency public health

On April 22, 2020, Mike Farnworth, Minister for Public Safety and Solicitor General for the Province of British Columbia, executed Ministerial Order No. M120 “Protection Against Liability (COVID-19) Order No. 2” (the “New Order”), which replaces Ministerial Order No. 094 “Protection Against Liability (COVID-19)” issued on April 2.

Like its predecessor, the New Order protects essential service providers from liability for claims arising from COVID-19 exposure and infection that occur in the delivery of those services, provided that they have followed all recommended guidelines to protect against infection. Under the terms of the New Order, there is no change to the requirements for these essential workers to receive protection from liability. There are also no additions to the type of guidelines that individuals are required to follow in the delivery of essential services. For further information on what essential service providers must do in order to receive protection from liability, see our summary of the previous order here.

Although the categories of “essential services” in the New Order are substantially similar to those of its predecessor, in some cases the list of what services are considered “essential” within those broader categories has been expanded or redefined. For example, although “blood and plasma donation services” is still listed as an essential health service, this subcategory now includes collection, production, distribution, diagnostics, laboratory testing, and related goods and services. For a full update on what are currently considered to be essential services, the providers of which can rely on the New Order for protection from liability, see Schedule A of the New Order.

The New Order will remain in effect until the state of emergency declared on March 18, 2020 expires or is cancelled.

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