Have you been exposed to Covid-19 in your workplace or at a business? There are already high-profile cases working their way through the courts relating to whether companies and public entities are responsible for informing clients or employees about risk of exposure or mitigating the spread of Covid-19. Most personal injury claims based on Covid-19 are based a negligence theory of liability, meaning that a person or business did not take adequate precautions under circumstances to keep people safe.
Typically personal injury cases based on catching an infectious disease like the flu can be very difficult to win. A plaintiff would need to show the specific act or situation that created exposure. For example, in the recent case of the President Trump contracting Covid-19 there is still much speculation surrounding how he contracted the virus. Was it in closed door preparation sessions prior to the Presidential debate, in private meetings with staff or in a public meeting in the Diplomatic Room at the White House to confirm a Supreme Court nominee?
Areas where personal injury suits regarding Covid-19 have arisen include: nursing homes, cruise ships and workplaces. In order to protect certain essential businesses such as health care providers some government entities have passed legislation to limit their malpractice liability.
5 of the Most High Profile Suits Against Businesses Involving Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Related to Covid-19
Several lawsuits against Princess Cruise Lines have been kicked out of federal court in California for failure to show causation.
A class action suit against Costa Cruise Lines alleges that the company put more than 2,000 passenger lives at risk by proceeding with a transatlantic cruise despite knowing that there was at least one individual who had tested positive for Covid-19 on the ship.
A nursing home in Washington State was sued for failing to take proper precautions to keep residents from contracting the virus.
Wal-Mart is being sued in a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of an employee who died from Covid-19. The family claims the employee was told to return to work even though he reported symptoms.
Tyson Foods is being sued due to allegations that they did not shut down one of their poultry plants after knowing as many as 900 workers had tested positive for Covid-19.
What do you think? Should employers and other companies be held responsible for lax protections of their customers and employees from Covid-19? Or would lawsuits over Covid-19 exposure cripple businesses and the economy even further?