Attorney Michael Phillips Secures Dismissal for Long-term Client

In a case of first impression, Michael Phillips secured a dismissal for his long-term client, asserting the Mississippi Back-to-Business Liability Assurance and Health Care Emergency Response Liability Protection Act as a bar to recovery. The act was passed in response to the unprecedented global pandemic and was designed to shield medical providers from liability when providing care and services during the COVID-19 state of emergency. 

Before the court could consider the issue, the parties were ordered to engage in immunity-related discovery and to brief the court on whether the claims asserted were barred. After the parties exchanged written discovery and deposed numerous caregivers, the parties briefed the court and set a hearing for April 10, 2023.

Following the hearing, the court found that all claims asserted, with the exception of those that arose during the first six weeks of the residency period (Jan. 26, 2020 – March 13, 2020), were barred. The court found the defendants were immune from liability from March 14, 2020, the date Governor Reeves declared a state of emergency, until Feb. 2, 2021, the resident’s last day in the facility.