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Former Rep. Lynn Westmoreland: Georgia, Stand Up to NYC Trial Lawyers and Protect Frontline Heroes and Businesses

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Right now, all eyes are focused on my home state of Georgia. More specifically, they are focused on Georgia voters who now will ultimately decide control of the U.S. Senate. The implications of our two Senate runoff races are significant, rightfully attracting the media’s full attention. But, we can’t lose sight of the fact that while these races will affect the politics of those in Washington, D.C., they will also affect the day-to-day lives of Georgians.

Right now, as we continue to recover from Covid-19’s economic havoc, one in ten Georgian workers is unemployed. In May, nearly 40% of the state’s workforce had filed for unemployment. These aren’t just scary, record-breaking numbers – these are our mothers and fathers who still don’t know how they’re going to put food on the table.

As of August, more than 160,000 businesses nationwide have indicated that they have closed, with 60% of those closed businesses never reopening. These aren’t faceless restaurants and clothing stores – this is the end of peoples’ life’s work and livelihood.

Simply put, our businesses need the confidence to safely reopen. Sadly, the looming threat of trial lawyers is standing in their way. Employers fear that there could be a second big economic risk coming in the form of Covid-19-related lawsuits. If businesses aren’t given liability protections in Congress’ next Covid-19 relief package, they will be absolutely right.

In only May, more than 1,300 state and federal Covid-19-related lawsuits had already been filed. There’s no doubt that some of those lawsuits will have merit, but many will be opportunistic attempts by trial lawyers to take advantage of businesses that are in unprecedented, vulnerable circumstances. Businesses attempting to reopen aren’t the only ones who need liability protection, though.

Everyone can agree that doctors, nurses, and those who have been serving on the front lines since Covid-19’s outbreak have carried themselves heroically. Doctors have been forced to make near-impossible decisions in rationing care, hospitals have been coping with staff and equipment shortages, and nurses have even been coming out of retirement.

More than anyone, these health care workers need the confidence to perform their jobs under never-before-seen circumstances. Sadly, it is exactly because of these difficult circumstances that trial lawyers will target them. Frontline workers continue to go above and beyond in protecting us during this pandemic – it’s our duty to prove them with the protections they need, too.

Over the past few days, Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have taken firm stances in their opposition to liability reform. This is a blatant attempt by Schumer and Durbin to line the pockets of their trial lawyer donors in New York City and Chicago. They could care less about the fate of a Georgian farmer, nurse, or retailer. Georgians need strong, serious leaders in these challenging times – not candidates who make a show of debating an empty podium for the sake of attention. After this type of spectacle, can we really trust Jon Ossoff, the Democratic challenger, to stand up to Senator Schumer, his trial lawyer friends, and the mega donors in Manhattan?

We can’t afford to forget about those who spent their lives building the businesses that drive our state’s economy, or those who regularly risk their lives to save others. That’s who you’re voting for in our Senate runoff elections, and, if you intend on providing them with the protections they deserve, that means voting for Republican Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA). Georgian voters need to send a message to their opponents. Our Senate seats aren’t for sale and can’t be bought by Schumer and Durbin’s trial lawyer friends.

This liability issue needs to be solved at the national level, and Republicans need to make it clear that they intend on including liability protections in the end-of-year Covid-19 package. It’s our responsibility to protect those who have risked so much protecting us – we can’t afford to miss this opportunity to ensure we uphold that responsibility.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the Daily Caller were not involved in the creation of this content.