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Personal Injury Laws and COVID-19

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) has changed our daily life. Unfortunately, some people are forced to work in conditions that can be dangerous to their health – especially considering the spread of this airborne disease. 

There are both moral and ethical implications for companies managing a workforce in a pandemic. Essential companies, like grocery stores and hospitals, need to continue to serve their communities. These organizations also have a duty to take reasonable measures to protect their employees and customers.

Striking the Right Balance

Leadership cannot prevent every case of COVID-19. That isn’t the goal – because there’s a tipping point where the benefits of extreme protective measures make it too difficult for the gears of commerce to turn. 

Either extreme – failing to take reasonable precautions or going overboard to eliminate every risk – can result in the shuttering of an otherwise viable business and the loss of jobs.

Reasonable Measures Employees and Customers Expect

Enforcement of Mask Mandates 

Some governments, including cities and counties throughout California, have asked individuals to wear a mask when in public or visiting spaces where people gather.

Encourage Regular Hand Washing

Employees need the ability to regularly wash their hands. The CDC has published a variety of resources to help organizations and individuals take important steps to encourage hand washing in the fight against COVID-19.

Sanitization of High-Touch Surfaces

COVID-19 primarily spreads via airborne particulates, but it can live on surfaces for an undetermined period of time. The CDC has published Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting spaces to fight COVID-19.

Prompt Notification of Suspected COVID-19 Cases

If a co-worker or fellow patron becomes ill, you should be notified. Contact tracing is a critical component in flattening the curve. If individuals are not promptly notified of exposure, it can place themselves and the people they come into contact with at greater risk.

These are just a few of the reasonable measures employees should expect from their places of work. When businesses fail to provide reasonable protections, they should be held accountable.

Lawsuits to Protect Employees and Customers from COVID-19

There are several high-profile personal injury lawsuits filed by employees and customers who feel that companies, organizations or government agencies let them down.

Princess Cruise Lines

A passenger sued Princess Cruise Lines for failing to protect them from COVID-19 while underway. Two federal judges in California decided that “causation” – the legal principle that the actions of someone else resulted in personal injury – was not well-established.

In other words, personal injury victims seeking justice after contracting COVID-19 have a high bar to meet in connecting the actions of their employer or a business they trusted with their illness.

Costa Cruise Lines

A class-action lawsuit alleges that Costa Cruise Lines failed to warn passengers in a timely manner after a traveler tested positive for COVID-19. The continuation of a transatlantic cruise (over 20 days) without expedient isolation of potentially ill passengers may have resulted in other patrons becoming ill.

Within the context of other cruise ships experiencing super spreader events in the weeks prior to Costa Cruise Line’s departure, many passengers feel they were purposely deceived in an effort to avoid cancellation and refunds.

You can hold companies and organizations responsible for negligent decision making.

Personal injury law firms in California are gearing up to help hold companies, organizations and government agencies accountable when they unnecessarily expose people to COVID-19. So far it has been an uphill battle, but every case is unique and you deserve to get the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family.

Were you unnecessarily exposed to COVID-19 in California?

There are many factors that can impact the success of a personal injury claim. If insurance companies and their lawyers refuse to do the right thing, work with a team of experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers that put their clients first.

You probably have questions. The good news is you can get answers for free. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a personal injury expert. Learn about your options and chart a path forward that protects you and your family.

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