General Question

give_seek's avatar

Will there be more wrongful death lawsuits now that businesses are opening up?

Asked by give_seek (1425points) June 21st, 2020

I read where Walmart has been sued for wrongful death due to an employee who contracted COVID-19 while at work.

With contact tracing starting to take off, people who contract the virus can trace it back to where they were when they got it.

That seems to leave the door wide open for lawyers. If an individual is hospitalized or worse because they contracted COVID-19 at a particular business, can the business be sued?

It reminds me of laws that are in place regarding how much alcohol bars are allowed to serve a patron before the bar is liable for any injury or death caused by a patron who leaves the establishment intoxicated.

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8 Answers

Patty_Melt's avatar

As I understand, if it happened before distancing and masks, etc. It is not the fault of the employers.

If they are were required to work in unsafe conditions to protect their job, they have a case.
If the employers have made reasonable attempts to protect employees, they aren’t held accountable.

jca2's avatar

Even with contact tracing, when someone catches the virus, there’s no guarantee where they caught it. You might have gotten it from a store, a surface, a bathroom, a visitor, a restaurant, etc.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I expect it won’t be long before every business requires customers sign a waiver stating they will not hold the business liable and will not sue – like the waiver the Trump campaign made people sign before attending the rally.
That will likely become the model. I just had to sign one at the dentist’s office last week.

canidmajor's avatar

Waivers have been required already for some businesses that are reopening.
Hopefully that will alleviate some of the anticipated pressure on the legal system.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Silly wasteful lawsuits. The plaintiffs won’t win. They would have to prove that the company was doing absolutely nothing, and that would be very hard to prove. and that it directly led to their corona infection, which would be impossible to prove.

Waste of time.

janbb's avatar

I think there is a difference between a customer suing a place which may or may not have given them the virus and an employee forced to work in an unsafe place of employment where precautions should have been taken. Those suits should be allowed to go forward but I think legislation may have been passed disallowing them.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

There is a group of restaurants here all under the same management that were found to be blatently ignoring the new sanitary and social distancing guidelines. I believe this greatly opens them up to lawsuits regardless if they required waivers or not.

give_seek's avatar

So . . . if businesses are requiring liability waivers, doesn’t that mean there is a possibility they could be sued? Sued and lose?

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