As states start lifting stay-at-home orders, businesses, schools, non-profits and houses of worship are trying to figure out how to reopen safely. A major concern for many businesses has been the fear of COVID related lawsuits according to an op-ed in The Hill by Phil Goldberg the director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Center for Civil Justice and the managing partner of Shook Hardy & Bacon, LLP’s Washington, D.C. office.
“It’s a reasonable fear; the pandemic is already inflaming America’s legendary litigiousness. Hundreds of COVID-19 lawsuits have already been filed. Law firms tout their ‘Coronavirus Litigation Task Force’ as they troll for clients,” Goldberg writes. “Congress should enact legislation that protects employers against traditional negligence claims over actual or potential exposures to the coronavirus. Viral diseases like COVID-19 obviously should be treated differently than hazardous workplace conditions, such as asbestos exposure. Employers should not be subject to broad litigation for a natural phenomenon they cannot control.”