Read Letter of Support from MA Legislators

THE GENERAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053

Joint Committee on Judiciary

Claire D. Cronin, House Chair 24 Beacon Street Boston, MA 02133

James B. Eldridge, Senate Chair 24 Beacon Street Boston, MA 02133

Dear Members of the Judiciary Committee:

We write to you in strong support of H.4744 / S.2700 –An Act to Provide Liability Protections for Contractors, Sub-Contractors and Unions During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This legislation will establish limited liability protection for contractors and sub-contractors unable to complete construction projects due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to COVID-19 sweeping our communities, the state of Massachusetts was experiencing a widespread construction boom. Through both private and public construction projects this industry is responsible for aiding the development of the Commonwealth in many key ways. However, as the pandemic struck it became significantly dangerous to the health of workers to continue construction progress given the highly contagious nature of this deadly virus. As the Massachusetts Building Trades and their affiliated unions called upon the Governor to shutdown construction, we knew this could open a door to predatory lawsuits and individuals looking to gain opportunistically.

With construction at a stand-still H.4744 / S.2700 became incredibly vital, ensuring that contractors, sub—contractors, and unions would not be on the hook for liquidated damages if a construction project were not finished on time. This legislation gives responsible contractors & developers who are genuinely concerned for their employees, the true ability to make the right decision without the financial threat of being sued for liquidated damages; it makes it possible for them to put safety first.

It is uncertain when construction will ramp up to pre-quarantine levels however it is clear that time must be devoted to establishing safety protocols and procedures for worksites. Yet costly and unnecessary litigation diverts time and resources away from the development of these procedures. While construction schedules and completion plans are important and carefully planned, none could have foreseen a global pandemic that imperiled Commonwealth residents and as such, the legislature must act to support individuals that may face unfair burden for prioritizing their health and well-being.

We thank the Joint Committee on Judiciary for their work during these uncertain times and ask for a favorable report on H.4744 / S.2700.

Sincerely,

Rep. Paul Mark, 2nd Berkshire District

Sen. Paul R. Feeney, Bristol Norfolk District

 

Rep. Dan Donahue, 16th Worcester District

Sen. Joanne Comerford, Hampshire, Franklin, and Worcester District

Rep. Bradley H. Jones, Jr., Minority Leader

Sen. Diana DiZoglio, 1st Essex District

Rep. Brian Ashe, 2nd Hampden District

Rep. John Barrett, 1st Berkshire District

Rep. Natalie Blais, 1st Franklin District

Rep. Peter Capano, 11th Essex District

Rep. Dan Care, 2nd Hampshire District

Rep. Gerry Cassidy, 9th Plymouth District

Rep. Tackey Cha, 2nd Norfolk District

Rep. Mike Connolly, 26th Middlesex District

Rep. Josh Cutler, 6th Plymouth District

Rep. Nika Elugardo, 15th Suffolk District

Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, 3rd Berkshire District

Rep. Michael Finn, 6th Hampden District

Rep. Sean Garballey, 23rd Middlesex District

Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, 10th Hampden District

Rep. Kenneth Gordon, 21st Middlesex District

Rep. Tami Gouveia, 14th Middlesex District

Rep. Jim Hawkins, 2nd Bristol District

Rep. Christopher Hendricks,11th Bristol District

Rep. Natalie Higgins, 4th Worcester District

Rep. Kevin Honan, 17th Suffolk District

Rep. Mary Keefe, 15th Worcester District

Rep. Kay Khan, 11th Middlesex District

Rep. David LeBoeuf, 17th Worcester District

Rep. Paul McMurtry, 11th Norfolk District

Rep. Brian Murray, 10th Worcester District

Rep. Tram Nguyen, 18th Essex District

Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, 4th Berkshire District

Rep. Angelo Puppolo, 12th Hampden District

Rep. Maria Robinson, 6th Middlesex District

Rep. Dave Rogers,24th Middlesex District

Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa, 1st HampshireDistrict

Rep. Jose Tosado,9th Hampden District

Rep. Aaron Vega, 5th Hampden District

Rep. Susannah Whipps, 2nd Franklin District

Rep. Bud Williams, 11th Hampden District

Sen. Brendan Crighton, 3rdEssex District

Rep. David DeCoste, 5th Plymouth District

Rep. Mindy Domb, 3rd Hampshire District

Rep. Steve Howitt, 4th Bristol District

Rep. Stephan Hay, 3rd Worcester District

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