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38 Organizations Urge Chamber of Commerce to Drop Demand for Corporate Immunity from COVID Lawsuits

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Crucial relief needed to save small businesses and protect families is being held hostage by a demand for corporate immunity. Public Citizen along with 37 organizations today released a letter urging the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to drop this demand. The Chamber should ask Senate Republican leadership to stop blocking bipartisan coronavirus relief efforts and stop insisting on the inclusion of a measure granting businesses immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits, the groups maintain.

“Small businesses across the country – the very same small businesses you claim to represent – are desperate for coronavirus relief,” the letter states.

“That relief is imperiled by a demand by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for sweeping immunity for businesses for coronavirus-related damages. … Leaving aside the damage to victims of corporate wrongdoing and public health that such immunity would inflict, businesses have no need for such immunity, as you very well know.”

“Crucial, business-saving relief is being held hostage by a demand for corporate immunity from cases that are not being brought, are hard to prove, and to which adequate defenses already exist,” the letter continues, which asks why the Chamber is not speaking out on behalf of the small businesses it claims to represent and demanding a bipartisan deal with no corporate immunity.

“If the Chamber of Commerce were to speak out for a bipartisan deal that did not include corporate immunity, the logjam in Congress would resolve immediately and the American people and American businesses could get the relief they need to survive. We urge you to speak out now,” the letter concludes.