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During the current Special Session of the Legislature, two identical bills are advancing in the Senate and House which will provide immunity from civil claims related to the transmission of or exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

Senate Bill 5067 and House Bill 5074 may be of potential interest to some AKC-affiliated clubs with deep concerns about conducting their events while under a higher-than-normal exposure to liability and civil suit risks.

If passed, the legislation provides immunity to a “person” (including individuals, corporations, and non-profit corporations, among others) from civil causes of action arising from any act or omission alleged to have resulted in the contraction of or exposure to the COVID-19 virus, provided that the person has complied with applicable federal, state, and local laws and guidelines.

Additionally, the legislation requires that when a person owns or has control, custody, or possession of a premises, they must provide reasonable notice to individuals present of actions taken for the purpose of reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.  If reasonable notice is given and a person fails to follow guidelines or procedures, then the person owning/possessing the premises is not considered liable.

The protection would not apply if there is “gross negligence or willful misconduct.”

AKC Government Relations will continue to monitor both bills as they move through the Legislative Special Session, which ends September 18, 2020.

Talking Points and More Information:

If you would like to contact your State Senator or Delegate to share your comments about these bills, you can find your member hereA sample letter may be found in the AKC Legislative Action Center.

AKC Government Relations continues to track and monitor 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