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Florida House votes to shield businesses from COVID lawsuits

Photo: Florencia Rosenfeld
Photo: Florencia Rosenfeld

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida businesses would be protected from coronavirus lawsuits if they made an effort to follow guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under a bill passed by the House.

The 83-31 vote on Friday divided Republicans in support of the legislation and Democrats who opposed it. Republicans said businesses are suffering because of the pandemic and shouldn't have to worry about frivolous lawsuits.

Democrats said people shouldn’t lose access to courts if a business failed to protect employees or customers.

The House also passed a bill that would make it a felony to profit off a pandemic by making false or misleading marketing claims about personal protective equipment or the availability or access to vaccines.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.