Ending Lockdowns Too Soon May Increase COVID-19 Liability Cases
With over 140,000 victims already dead due to COVID-19 and the confirmed number of cases approaching four million, many people are concerned about the idea of governments lifting lockdown restrictions. Ending lockdowns too soon could exacerbate the situation and potentially provoke many COVID-19 liability lawsuits.
Businesses Are Already Facing More Litigation
Several major companies in the United States, including Walmart and Carnival, are already dealing with liability lawsuits from customers and employees. These lawsuits often allege that the companies failed to put reasonable precautions in place to protect others from coronavirus risks. There are also some concerns that businesses rushing to make up for lost time may inadvertently injure customers by not properly following safety procedures. Even though there have not been any rulings yet, these lawsuits are already getting a lot of press. There is a possibility they may be the first in a wave of COVID-19 liability lawsuits. Both large and small businesses around the nation have been consulting with attorneys to see how an early end to lockdowns may affect their operation and legal responsibilities. With unclear guidance from authorities, businesses are left wondering just how much they have to do to protect their patrons and employees. Some fear that a huge wave of liability lawsuits could end up overwhelming their liability insurance and legal teams.
COVID-19 Liability Lawsuits Are Hard to Prove
The high number of pandemic-related liability cases already brewing does not necessarily mean there will be a large number of successful ones. Proving this sort of claim can be tricky. To do so successfully, a person would need to show that their infection was caused by a company’s negligence. With the virus so widespread, it may be challenging to support this claim. However, employees are justifiably concerned about their personal well-being if they return to a work environment that is unsafe due to negligence. If you have reason to believe you have suffered under these circumstances, you should consult a personal injury lawyer.
Lawsuits Against Individuals Are Also on the Rise
As lockdowns and restrictions draw to a close, the majority of COVID-19 liability lawsuits are being filed against businesses. However, there is also the possibility of COVID-19 personal injury cases against individuals. Without lockdowns requiring people to stay at home, there is more social interaction. Personal injury lawyers are already getting inquiries about suing someone for coughing or spitting in someone else’s direction. Like any coronavirus lawsuit, successfully achieving compensation may be somewhat challenging. A personal injury lawyer would have to prove that the plaintiff was healthy before interacting with the defendant and explain how that party’s behavior was negligent. The circumstances would be critical to the case since other causes for the infection would essentially need to be ruled out. Despite the low chances of successful outcomes, we are still likely to see more of these.
Some Experts Believe Suing the Government May Be a Possibility
When discussing coronavirus lawsuits, something to consider is the possibility of suing the government itself. Many people have been critical of state and federal guidance, with health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci saying that an earlier, more conscientious government response would have saved lives. If a lax government approach combines with an early end to lockdowns, it is possible that many more people will die due to irresponsible official decisions. There is a legal precedent of people suing the government for an incompetent response after a disaster. For example, FEMA was sued for criminal negligence due to their poor Hurricane Katrina response. Currently, there are not any major lawsuits against the government for ending lockdowns. However, it is something to keep in mind when thinking about ways that an early end to lockdowns may lead to more liability cases.
If you think that the negligence of an employer or some other party led directly to your COVID-19 infection, you may have a liability case. These lawsuits are very complex, so it is important to get help from an expert. In New Jersey, RAM Law has plenty of experience assisting New Brunswick and Somerville residents in handling their personal injury and liability claims. We are currently working remotely and offering free case reviews. Schedule your consultation today by emailing us or calling 732-247-3600.