MCConnell’s Orwellian attempt to block a non-existent tidal wave of litigation by consumers against businesses by contributing to a tidal wave that does exist–of cases by businesses against consumers

by Jeff Sovern

Not only does McConnell's coronavirus bill make it much harder for consumers to sue businesses that carelessly infect them with the virus, it also makes it much easier for businesses to sue consumers suffering from COVID. Suppose a consumer sends a letter asking for help with medical bills to a business that infected her with the virus, and says she won't sue the business if she gets that help. If she wouldn't have been able to bring a valid case because she couldn't satisfy the draconian standards established by the bill, the business can sue the consumer for compensatory damages (would there be any?), collect attorney's fees, and in some cases punitive damages. The consumer would be liable even if she never sued, but only sent a letter. That's under section 164. That will certainly give businesses that cavalierly sicken consumers a weapon in case the consumers want to seek help from the companies that injured them. How Orwellian for Republicans to pretend to prevent a tidal wave of litigation that doesn't exist while contributing to another–suits by businesses against consumers–that does.

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