Last week we wrote about actions that have been taken by the federal and state governments to address the extraordinary need for health care personnel and other resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which will have consequences for people injured by medical negligence related to the crisis. The measures taken by the state were in an executive order by the governor that contained a provision for limited immunity for injuries sustained directly as a result of an act or omission by medical professionals in the course of providing medical services in support of the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The state has now passed the Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act, Public Health Law Article 30-D, codifying limited immunity for health care professionals and facilities during the pendency of the emergency declaration in place in New York as of March 7, 2020.

The legislation contains a “declaration of purpose,” stating that “[i]t is the purpose of this article to promote the public health, safety and welfare of all citizens by broadly protecting the health care facilities and health care professionals in this state from liability that may result from treatment of individuals with COVID-19 under conditions resulting from circumstances associated with the public health emergency.” PHL §3080.