Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a bill Monday that would have protected health care providers from lawsuits if a patient receiving treatment at a hospital or residents in nursing homes were injured during a state of emergency.
Senate Bill 899, sponsored by Sen. Mike MacDonald, (R-Macomb Twp.), would have made it so healthcare providers and facilities would not be held liable for the injury or death of a patient during a state of emergency unless it was criminal misconduct or intentional.
Whitmer said the bill is “an overbroad attempt to fix a problem created by the Republican-led legislature” and would “endanger patients and workers unnecessarily.”
“Republicans in the legislature refuse to acknowledge that Michigan, along with all fifty state and the federal government, are in a state of emergency and continue to try to block our efforts to address the pandemic,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I previously extended special liability protections for certain health care providers during the first peak of COVID-19 to ensure that hospitals did not become overwhelmed, preserving their ability to provide care.”
The bill was passed through the Legislature largely along party lines.