Call to Action: Contact the Legislature to Support AB 1384 and COVID-19 Liability Protection
We need your help on an important piece of legislation supported by CASH: AB 1384 (O’Donnell). This bill provides K-12 schools with limited liability protection from COVID-19 lawsuits. AB 1384 is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and we recently found out that the Committee is not planning to schedule the bill for a hearing. Without a hearing, the bill does not have a chance at passage.
Please email the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to schedule AB 1384 for a hearing. A sample email is included below for your use. There is still time for the Committee to change its mind and add AB 1384 to the agenda for its August 12th hearing.
What it Does
AB 1384 exempts local educational agencies (LEAs) from monetary liability and damages related to the COVID-19 crisis. The governing board of an LEA must establish policies and procedures consistent with applicable federal, state, and local legal and regulatory COVID-19 requirements. AB 1384 does not provide liability protection for gross negligence or for recklessness, intentional, or willful and wanton misconduct, nor does it affect workers’ compensation coverage for LEA employees.
Why CASH Supports AB 1384
It is impossible to guarantee that a student or other individual will not contract COVID-19 while on a school site, even as schools take precautions and follow public health orders and guidance. The threat of costly COVID-19 lawsuits is very real. Most insurance policies do not provide protection against such lawsuits, meaning that schools would bear the cost to defend these suits. This is at a time when schools face growing expenses to ensure the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff when they return to school sites.
Click here for a copy of CASH’s letter in support of this important bill.
Sample Email to Senate Judiciary Committee
Subject: Please Hear AB 1384 (O’Donnell)
Dear Senator Jackson:
I am writing today to urge you to schedule AB 1384 (O’Donnell) for a hearing in Senate Judiciary Committee.
AB 1384 offers a vital protection to K-12 schools by exempting local educational agencies from monetary liability and damages related to the COVID-19. During this budget crisis, we need every available resource to ensure the health and safety of students and teachers when they return to the classroom. The costs to defend unfair lawsuits are at the expense of important actions such as physically distancing classrooms and facilities, enhancing cleaning and sanitation protocols, providing personal protective equipment (PPE), and improving air quality and ventilation.
Given the importance of this bill in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, we hope you will bring AB 1384 forward for discussion and debate in Senate Judiciary Committee.
Thank you for your consideration.