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Tomorrow, February 3, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing on House Bill 508, which provides certain liability protections when there has been exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

Those AKC clubs with concerns about the ability to conduct events while under a higher potential exposure to liability actions associated with COVID-19 may find this legislation of interest.

Provisions Included in the bill would protect any “person” (including but not limited to individuals, associations, etc.) from civil liability for damages or injury “resulting from exposure of an individual to coronavirus.”

Given the definition of “person” as used in the bill, one could infer that the liability protection includes premises owned or managed by a person, and activities managed, organized, or sponsored by a person.  However, it is not clearly mentioned in the bill.

The exemption would not apply to gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, when there is clear and convincing evidence.

As mentioned in a previous alert, The Senate version, Senate Bill 210, had its hearing last week in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, and is on hold pending amendments.

What You Can Do:

Email or call the bill’s sponsor, Delegate Dayla Attar. Thank her for sponsoring this bill, express your support, and request that she add an amendment to make it clear that the liability protection includes premises owned or managed by a person, and activities managed, organized, or sponsored by a person.

Contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to support House Bill 508.  Let them know about Maryland dog shows and events that you participate in.  If you are writing on behalf of your club, tell them about your show (including how long it has been held, number of exhibitors, etc.) and your desire to hold shows safely in Maryland.

AKC Government Relations continues to track bills across the country relating to the issue of COVID-19 liability.  For the latest information on this topic, visit the COVID-19 Liability key issues page in the AKC Legislative Action Center.

To view AKC legislative information and updates relating to COVID-19 and how they are impacting dogs, events, and businesses, visit www.akcgr.org/covid19.

For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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